From: Danny Howard
Subject: Re: [tuna] recall thoughts, anyone?
>I signed the anti-recall petition around the same time that the recall
>petition was getting press. I’m certainly voting against the recall,
>because I think this is the biggest sham, and frankly I don’t know
>much about Gray Davis. Unless there is blood in the streets, people
>can stick with the damn candidate they voted for until the term is
Well, you see, and I was out of the country for much of this, so I never got to not vote for Gray Davis, but the reason Gray Davis got elected is because he smeared the moderate Republican in the GOP primary, who had been leading in the poles until Davis pointed out that that anti-Christ wasn’t solidly pro-life.
So, instead of running against a the charismatic, moderate, and popular Republican mayor of Los Angeles, Davis ran against and just barely defeated his hand-picked opponent: a right-wing ogre.
You claim that Californians should stick with whom they voted, but very few Californians bothered to vote either for Davis or his opponent, because few Californians really wanted either one in office. Very few people in California have ever voted for Davis. Maybe a show of hands on how tuna fish voted in the last gubernatorial?
I, for one, did not vote, because I was in France, drinking wine and trying to explain George Bush to people, but I would have voted for Camejo. Davis is a smarmy freak who survives by his adept political manuevering and otherwise does whatever it is that his money sources tell him to do.
>Right below my vote against the recall will be a vote for Arnold.
I’ll be voting absentee. I never wanted Davis in there and I think his claim on the office is somewhat dubious. I am heartened that Bustamonte is leading Ahnold in the polls, so I may just skip the recall question and Cruz straight to my preferred alternative.
So, I’m going to recommend an article published on Salon.com, because not only did it cause me to laugh out loud, but because it also scored a place for John Kerry in my fortunes file:
The swagger of a president saying ‘Bring ’em on’ will never bring peace. Pride is no substitute for protecting our young men and women in uniform. Half the names on the Vietnam Memorial are there because of pride — because of a president who refused to admit he was wrong.
I heard George’s “bring ’em on” on the radio and it made me cringe, and hope that they were somehow targetting that for American consumption and that such dumb sentiment wouldn’t make its way into the Arab press, and into the minds of radicals looking for some hair-brained reason to “bring it on.”
Anyway, the laugh-out-loud funny comes from Al Franken. You can read the article at http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2003/09/03/franken_dean/.
In other groovy news, a recruiter is presenting me today for a local university job that I think I’m a good fit for. With any luck, September will make up for August, karmically.
At any rate, I was thinking this morning that for D. Howard, Howard Dean is an obvious choice.
Well, since I’m babbling, I’ll mention that I saw a really chilling story in the Tribune today. A former minister is scheduled to be executed in Florida for murdering two abortion doctors. Excellent quote found on Yahoo, from Gloria Feldt, president of the Planned Parenthood: “It’s sad that people like Paul Hill would murder in the name of life.”
I’m no fan of the death penalty, but a clergyman who is unrepentant about murdering people is the sort of monster that makes the death penalty sort of make sense. He says he’d kill again, because God is on his side. There is no question that he is a menace to society.
But perhaps life in prison would give him plenty of time to think about things. I would think a pious, pro-life Christian like Jeb Bush, who is supposedly going to let the man be executed, would want to allow the man time to repent for his sins before he dies so he could get to Heaven. Oh well.
Then the part of me that is just plain angry at Paul Hill would rather he rot in solitary until his God calls him off of this world. A long life of solitude is more deserved than the free press for martyrdom. But then, maybe that’s what Jeb is thinking.
And the whole idea of Christians in America murdering so that they can become martyrs seems to dovetail with all the Muslim fanatics seeking to be martyred in the Middle East. What with our Energy Consumption, and the vast military and financial involvement in the region that that brings us, most visibly with Israel and Iraq these days, it is like we our cultures deserve each other.
Proof-reading for Yayoi:
man == people
man == person with penis
men == people with penises
Be careful if you are talking about one man, mankind, or penis people.
So, if I do end up teaching English overseas, I’ll at least be somewhat prepared. Gotta remember to look around for a TEFL Cert program. :)
An excerpt from an article on Salon.com:
In an interview with the Miami Herald, he seemed to endorse a moratorium on the death penalty, because there has been “a lot of discrimination and a lot of injustice,” and suggested cases be reviewed with DNA evidence. But when the reporters asked if he’d back a halt to executions, they noted, “Clark sat up straight. ‘Stop. Stop,’ he said. ‘I promised I wasn’t going to take a strong position.’”
In programmer speak, Clark threw an exception when presented with a case he was not yet programmed for. Something like:
ERROR: candidates.democratic.clark: deathPenalty.moratorium not yet defined
The other great catch-phrase from this article refers to the “top-down groundswell” behind Clark … if Howard Dean is from the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, Wesley Clark is from the fully re-programmable wing of the democratic party that yields us charismatic automatons like Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and Joseph Lieberman. Clark may have the charisma of Clinton to pull it off against his charismatic, right-wing-programmed nemesis, George Bush. All the same, I have a lot of nostalgia for man versus machine … I’d just as soon send Dean in there against Bush and see him inexplicably flailed by Bush’s mighty buzz-saw pincers and lose a little bit more of my faith in America than to see him toppled by the mightier android.
But then I’d also like to just see Bush gone. At any rate, it’ll be interesting to see what Clark looks like a few revisions from now. It’s too bad he’s still in Alpha.
Last night I was flipping channels and I caught the excellent war movie “Tora! Tora! Tora!” which was the code sent to Japanese fighters that their mission to bomb Pearl Harbor was to proceed as planned. This is a fantastic movie, which tells the story well from both sides. The Japanese soldiers and the American soldiers are portrayed with equal measures of humanity, in their respective languages. There is even a sense of humor, when one famous Japanese pilot responds to a subordinate that of course the new Zero is even better than the Messerschmitt – he has personally seen the latter in combat over London!
Most of the movie is the grueling preparations leading up to the attack – intercepted Japanese communications, confusion in the American chain of command, ambivalence about how the Japanese should handle America and Japanese commanders voicing their opinions on the wisdom of engaging the sleeping giant. There’s one guy the Japanese nick-named Gandhi as he meditated long and hard in seclusion upon the perfection of the planning for Pearl Harbor.
My favorite scene was just before the attack itself, where the Japanese pilots were heartened by the beautiful image of the morning sun exploding in to light rays from behind a cloud – like the flag of their empire – certainly a good sign! I’ve long been fond of sun rays poking out from clouds, but I’ve never thought to connect them with the Japanese Imperial Flag.
As they make Oahu the first plane they encounter is an older bi-plane, with a woman who is training a kid to fly in the cold morning conditions. They suddenly see squadrons of war planes rushing past them, look around in excitement, and realize that they are surrounded by a foreign armada. “Oh shit,” I could hear the woman thinking, as I wondered if the Japanese would take her down as their first, easiest kill.
In this first, infamous sneak-attack on American territory, the warriors charge proudly past the civilians, their bullets and bombs reserved for the bodies of soldiers and warships. All the same, the woman wasn’t taking any chances, she barrel-rolled away from the Zeros in to the empty air over her home town. This brought me a weird moment of vertigo, as civilian airplanes in the space over our cities were precisely the target of that second, infamous sneak-attack on American territory.
Two years and two weeks ago.
Getting over a nastily sneezy cold. It’s raining outside but the weather was nice when I did my shopping today. I got deoderant at Walgreens and then browsed through the newest, largest Dollar Store among the handful already occupying the strip-mall at Howard and Western. They had a strict $1 price for each item, so there were no price tags, except for a few places where there were say, two for $1 or four for $1 items. Nevertheless, I overheard somebody ask an employee how much an item cost. They had some fairly nice things in there. I left the store with the impression of a garage sale gone full-out retail.
Then I checked out the clothing/shoe store next door, run by a taciturn Korean couple. I was the only customer there. I need some shoes, see? So, I looked in the back where they had the nice shoes, and it was all PIMP SHOES … exotic colors and textures, including snakeskin. Then there were pimp threads, and even more post-pimp gangsta-chic styles. Too bad I’m not feelin’ so pimpin’ but it is nice to know where I can go. I headed over to the Centrella on Touhy, stopping by Biewald’s used car lot, where I saw a maroon 1979 Buick LeSabre for a few grand. It looked nice from ten feet away – new tires, shiny chrome rims. Close up you could see some less-than-perfect paint touch-ups, and a minor ding here and there. All the same, it looked sharp. Pimpin’.
Over to Centrella for Orange Juice, bananas, sweet corn, peaches, and back home with my fruits and vegetables to work on The Next Big Thing on a broadband connection that doesn’t suck. That’s sweet. I’m interviewing with a company in Mountain View as well, and if things continue going well, they’ll fly me out in a few weeks. I’m feeling more and more motivated to slip back in to a slighty-more-stable techy lifestyle. This opens the very real possibility that I’ll find myself living in the Silicon Valley again, and I’ll have to shift from digging on dollar stores, Buicks, and the mom and pop grocery to finding new things to dig in my new home. If it is back to Mountain View I’ll at least have a grip on the neighborhood.
Oh, and today I received my latest unemployment check, and the back-dated claim for July, so now I can afford to get my license out of hock. Sweet!
Joe Conason points to a press conference in February, 2001, in which Secretary of State Colin Powell claimed that Saddam Hussein possessed no significant weapons of mass destruction:
“He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors.”
I am happy to see the administration discredited, since a year and a half after he claimed that Iraq was not a threat, Colin Powell was in front of the U.N. with pictures explaining all the secret weapons Saddam had developed and was ready to deploy right away, and claiming that we have even more secret evidence that we can not share, but it is imperative to go to war now. Personally, I never bought the WMD argument – it sounded to me like the classic American strategy of creating the perception of an imminent enemy threat as a pretext for military aggression. I am unhappy that the administration damaged American credibility with this strategy.
On the other hand, I like to look at the larger statement, as Powell was addressing a question about sanctions:
“… the sanctions exist — not for the purpose of hurting the Iraqi people, but for the purpose of keeping in check Saddam Hussein’s ambitions toward developing weapons of mass destruction. We should constantly be reviewing our policies, constantly be looking at those sanctions to make sure that they are directed toward that purpose. That purpose is every bit as important now as it was ten years ago when we began it. And frankly they have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors. So in effect, our policies have strengthened the security of the neighbors of Iraq, and these are policies that we are going to keep in place, but we are always willing to review them to make sure that they are being carried out in a way that does not affect the Iraqi people but does affect the Iraqi regime’s ambitions and the ability to acquire weapons of mass destruction.“
I agree with the idea that we needed to invade Iraq to free the Iraqi people of their tyrant. Because, much more than other tyrants, we helped make him strong, and unlike other tyrants, we had seen fit to wage war against him, even if I did not agree with Desert Storm.
Wouldn’t it have been nice, if instead of making incredulous claims about WMD, which will likely fall flat, we had enough humility to admit that sanctions weren’t all that effective – that the Iraqi people were being hurt by sanctions, and whether Saddam was actually acquiring WMD or not, they were not an effective tool at keeping his hands off of imported materials? That would have been nice. Sure, the world would question our motives – America is in it for the oil, and to shore up domestic support for the President who seeks a distraction from a recession and his “War on Terror” – but we get that flak anyway. But … wouldn’t it have been nice if our justification for war was to free Arab people from the tyrant that we had helped to install, instead of our claims that the secular Arab tyrant was part and parcel of a wacko Muslim fundamentalist conspiracy typical of brown-skinned men with beards and turbans? I think Arabs might have appreciated the distinction.
I guess you could try and blame Powell’s insistence on a U.N. mandate for this dishonesty. I believe some conservative pundits have. If you go before the Security Council and say “we want to invade Iraq to rid that nation’s people of a bad man” the French, with their economic ties to the bad man, will laugh at you even harder than if your threaten them with fairy-tales about Anthrax and Dirty Bombs. Maybe we lied to the world in a futile attempt to get the U.N. on our side. Why would we do that? Because we weren’t confident in our ability to do such a large and protracted peace-keeping mission after the invasion? Because we were too cheap to shoulder the full financial burden of reconstruction? Given the strain that our military is under today, perhaps this was a laudible strategy, except that it failed.
Being an empire isn’t easy.
. . .