"Yes, there have been difficulties. Yes, there have been mistakes perhaps many mistakes. No, you did not find weapons of mass destruction. “But for the great majority of Iraqis WMD was never the issue. We don’t understand the criticism of your Prime Minister. All we wanted was to be free.” She added: “I appeal to you all ... to help us build a new democratic federal Iraq that would respect the lives of human beings.” Asked later if she considered Labour members naive about the situation for Iraqis, she said: “Yes I do think so. They don’t know the reality of their lives. “They haven’t lived through Saddam. They don’t know what we’ve been through. “It is not fair of them to ask the British Government to withdraw their forces before completing their mission. “They are going to harm the Iraqi people more. They are going to cause more deaths. “If they are concerned about the Iraqi children they should not be asking the British Government to leave them alone at the mercy of others.”But when did your like ever care what the Iraqi people think? In your eyes, the real Iraqis are the ones with the guns, the ones who hide out in holy places and throw grenades at soldiers. The Minutemen. It really sickens me to think that there are people out there who believe that the killing of 34 children by TERRORISTS is a sign to cut and run. We are America. We are not cowards. Maybe you are. Maybe your priorities are screwed up, I don't know. Maybe you'd rather see Bush botch this up so bad that Iraq turns into a land of nothing but terror and death. Maybe that would make you really fucking happy because then you could say I told you so. Maybe the death of 34 kids is just another notch in your anti-Bush belt. Get with the program, people. Start recognizing that the enemy is not us. Start learning who our real enemy is. It's the same enemy that ordinary Iraqis face every day. Would you want to face them alone? I doubt it. Why would you want Iraqi kids to do the same? This is not the time to run out on them. This is the time to have more resolve then ever, to say to the people of Iraq, we are not going anywhere. We are staying until you are safe. Unless, of course, you don't feel that way. Go tell that to Omar. Let him know you think he isn't worth it. Idiots.
Number Five, and most ominously: The Bush Administration's focus on Iraq has left us needlessly more vulnerable to an Al Qaeda attack with a nuclear weapon. The greatest threat of all to our homeland is a nuclear attack. A mushroom cloud over any American city is the ultimate nightmare, and the risk is all too real. Osama bin Laden calls the acquisition of a nuclear device a "religious duty." Documents captured from a key Al Qaeda aide three years ago revealed plans even then to smuggle high-grade radioactive materials into the United States in shipping containers. If Al Qaeda can obtain or assemble a nuclear weapon, they will certainly use it - on New York, or Washington, or any other major American city. The greatest danger we face in the days and weeks and months ahead is a nuclear 9/11, and we hope and pray that it is not already too late to prevent. The war in Iraq has made the mushroom cloud more likely, not less likely, and it never should have happened.It's not just Ted that's running off the litany of fear tactics. It's the whole campaign. Kerry and staff are feeding the hate and fear frenzy that has erupted on the left. The anti-Bush crowd are meandering zombies and the Kerry campaign are throwing them brains in the form of vitriol. I can't tell the difference between the left, the liberals and Democrats anymore. There used to be subtle - and sometimes profound - difference between them, but they've blended into a swirl of colors, each one muting the other, the dark colors infesting the bright, until they became just one shade of ugly, crap brown. They frolic with Michael Moore, align themselves with Ramsey Clark, feed off of George Soros and spew out a steady stream of books, plays, movies, websites and clowns on stilts that are nothing more than a call to arms for a movement of hatred and fear. They don't believe in their candidate. That's evident from OpEd pieces in major newspapers right down to the folks at Democratic Underground, who can often be found bickering over Kerry's stance on Israel, among other things. There is very little praise for him, the most praise coming in the form of "He's not Bush." I see more bumper stickers that call for voters to get Bush out of the White House than those that call to put Kerry in the White House. So what will happen if Kerry wins? Will the anti-Bush voters become actually Kerry supporters? Or will they turn their anger towards the new president when he doesn't enact every single they want, when he makes no move toward pulling the troops out of Iraq or setting up a Marxist type government? Is Kerry wrath on hold, just waiting until the "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead" celebrations are over? How soon after the inauguration will the first signs proclaiming Kerry to be fascist spring up? What will I do if Kerry wins? I'll do the same thing I've done every time one of my candidates has lost. Sigh and hope for the best. Regardless of whether I vote for him or not, if Kerry wins, he'll be the President of the United States. As a citizen of that country, I feel it will be my duty to give Kerry the benefit of the doubt and support him as our government goes through its transition. And if he proves to be a terrible president, I'll start working with my fellow Republicans to bring forth a formidable candidate to oppose Kerry the next election. But I won't be standing in the thick of a hate-filled protests, holding an effigy of our president. But that's just me. And what if Bush wins? It's what I want the most, yet I also feel a sense of dread when I think about it. The left is so hyped up on their anger and hate right now that I can't imagine what this country will be like if Bush takes the White House again. The brains that Kerry and crew have been feeding these zombies will be gone; what will they feed off of now? I believe their anger and hatred will rise to levels we have not yet experienced. There will be claims of voter fraud; denial of Bush's victory will be the prevalent mindset. They're already talking about taking up arms, moving out of the country, ceding from the U.S. They believe that Bush will round them up and put them in camps. Where the hell did this line of thinking come from? bq. I am frightened by what I am learning about America during this election. I think that a majority have an irrational fear of liberals, and that if Bush wins, and decides to send liberals to camps for their "protection," most would support the move and say "About time too." There would be some dissent, but the majority of Americans see liberals as a threat, and nothing would be done. The press would hold debates, but people wouldn't care. I think that all Bush has to do is say the word, and we'll be rounded up. Who would stop him. You know what's crazier than that thought? That people believe it and agree with it. Their inane hatred has clouded their thinking. Once upon a time, you would only find rantings like that coming from a fringe group of extremists. Not so anymore. You have otherwise normal, sane people falling for the police state propaganda hook, line and sinker. Why? Because they hate. And why do they hate? Because Kerry, Gore, Kennedy, Soros, Moore, Clark and others tell them to, in so many words. The campaign that was supposed to be smooth and nuanced is now playing the fear and loathing card. I've been through many an election in my time. My first was in 1980. I've voted for Democrats and I've voted for third party candidates. I've never once pulled the lever with my teeth clenched and hatred in tow. I don't vote with hate, I vote with hope. I talk to a lot of people during the course of day about politics and this election. I liken the left-leaning people I converse with to dragons; constant flames shooting of their mouths, smoke pouring from the nostrils. I don't see that with those on the right. Maybe the left feels they have something to be angry and hateful about, but as soon as I think that, I chastise myself for giving them the benefit of the doubt. They're making shit up. I have no other way to put it. Sometimes I look at the rantings of Al Gore or Barbara Streisand or some regular Joe from Lodi, New Jersey posting on a message board and I think, my god they have gone crazy. They have collectively lost their minds. Fascism? Police state? Hitler? Crushing of dissent? No free press? I picture Al Gore, face contorted, eyes bulging, and I think, that's the face of the left. The collective head of the left is already bloated to the breaking point with a volatile mix of hatred, anger and fear. And lest you think all that hatred is directed at Bush and his policies, take a long, hard look. You'll find people who laugh in derision when a car bomb goes off in Iraq. You'll find people who shrug at hostages being killed. You'll find people who hope that things goes horribly wrong so they can have more ammunition for their side. You'll find people who blame America for 9/11, who think that it is our duty to find out what drives the terrorists to their evil plans rather than hunting them down and killing them, people who think it's wrong to counter-act an attack on your country with an attack at those who put that attack into motion. Don't tell me that these people do not represent the left. They are there, right in the midst, at the Democratic convention in the president's box. They are there, throwing money at people who consider themselves mainstream Democrats. The left is one big party now, bringing together the conspiracy theorists, the Democrats, the liberals, the moonbats, the BusHitler crowd, all cozied up together on one little love seat with their arms around each other, bringing on the demoralization of the Democratic party and the hatred of America. They are a vocal bunch and their choruses of America the Wretched are being heard the world over. I would have loved to explain this all to the young girl with the Global Studies notebook. I worry that she'll be just another future voter who will be blind sided into thinking that America is a fascist regime and Bush is the Hitler force behind it. I was once that young girl. I was once ambushed with propaganda, false statistics, conspiracy theories and outright lies that suckered me into a groupthink mentality. It took several years and an attack on our nation to allow me to see the true faces of the people I had been associating with. I look around today and I see the claws of the left snatching up young, impressionable people, showering them with a steady rain of fear and hatred, teaching them to harness their negativity and breath it out in the form of fire. Dragons. Dragons with the face of Al Gore. Think about that one for a while.
In regards to last night's burning questions, my short answer is who the hell knows? Whether or not spirits roam the earth is not something that can be decisively answered, at least not in the way Sister Margaret would have wanted me to answer it; prove your answer and show your work.
Sister Margaret was a squat 90 year old, one of the last nuns in my high school to still wear a habit. She looked like a Jawa under that thing and moved like one, too. Her face was a sea of wrinkles and lumps and we used to kid that she would hide the bodies of students in those skin folds. Bodies? Yes. She often told us that she would kill the person who didn't show their work. The little nun with the sharp eyes and shuffling walk would kill us. One day when the good Sister again announced her murderous intentions, the class wise-ass Breck said, "What would Jesus think, Sister Margaret?" To which Sister Margaret replied, "Jesus would kick your butt, Breck. Kick it all over creation." And we quietly went back to our proofs and theorems and work showing.
Anyhow, Sister Margaret may have had a point. It wasn't enough that I knew x=32. How did I know that? For all she knew, I could have been guessing. Or cheating. Or had some kind of mathematical psychic ability. So I had to show my work, even though sometimes it was hard to say just how I knew the answer was 32. It's a gut feeling, Sister just doesn't cut it.
So it is with ghosts and spirits. No one can prove their work. They can all come up with the same answer - I do believe in ghosts! - but unless they trap one in some kind of ghost-trapping contraption, their work will be scoffed at, debunked and, somewhere in the outer limits, Sister Margaret will be wagging her jagged little finger at them.
I've got stories. I've got tons of stories. Most of them can be attributed to drugs, Boones Farm wine, an overactive imagination or a combination of all three.
I've come to terms with the fact that Jim Morrison really didn't speak to me from the poster on my wall. You can see how I was easily swayed into believing so, though. There he was, in glorious black and white, shirtless, arms outstretched like a scarecrow martyr. His eyes followed me around the room [Yes! That's the one!] He used to tell me things, whisper to me in the dead of night when the only light in the room was from the red-tinted bulb that pointed towards my Morrison shrine. When Jim whispered, he said things like You cannot petition the lord with prayer!
Some of my friends believed that Jim was still alive, holed up in a smelly hotel in France, drinking gin from the bottle and making music with the ghosts of dead Confederate soldiers. Which means they didn't believe that I had conversations with the ghost of Morrison every night.
I couldn't prove anything to my friends because, well, it wasn't true (not that I would admit to it then) and there was no way to show my work. That my little red light started blinking on and off on Morrison's birthday was only proof that I needed to smoke less pot. Or more.
I lived in my grandparent's house for fourteen years. We moved in right after Nat was born. At the time, both my grandparents were alive. There were two distinct sounds I associated with each of my grandparents. With Grandma, it was the clickety-clack sound of the Wheel of Fortune spinning around every night at 7:30, followed by Grandma's racially charged cursing aimed at the contestants. With Grandpa, it was the chair. He had a Lazy-Boy electric recliner that vibrated the walls and cast a buzzing sound throughout the house every time he adjusted his position. We lived below them, so the sounds of both the Wheel of Fortune and the buzzing chair drifted through floorboards or down the stairs. In a way, they were both comforting sounds. My then husband was often out of the house, and the noise coming from upstairs reminded me that I was not so much alone as I felt.
Grandpa died in June of 1991. In August of that year I thought Grandpa came calling. I was laying in bed, contemplating the horror that was my life. It was about 3am and I was alone, playing mistress to the blackjack table at some Atlantic City casino. And by alone, I mean wallowing in a vast darkness that was threatening to swallow me up whole and consume my very existence. It was at the very moment that I was being eaten by darkness that the buzzing sound started. At first there were just two short spurts of buzz, and I attributed the sounds to my being tired and upset and maybe just a little bit crazy. Then again, but louder and more persistent, like when Grandpa wasn't content enough to recline and relax, but needed to turn on the massage function as well. Drone. Buzz. I know what I heard. It was the chair.
I got out of bed and crept up the stairs, making my way towards the tv room where the chair was kept, expecting to see Grandma, in a fit of insomnia, reclining the Lazy-Boy. But the room was dark and empty and Grandma was snoring away in her bed. I stepped into the tv room, expecting a blast of cold air, because that's what always happens in horror movies when a person meets up with a spirit. No cold air, though. Just the smell of Grandpa's medicines and old age. I went back to sleep, slightly comforted by the thought that Grandpa was trying to tell me I wasn't alone and slighlty creeped out by it all.
That got me thinking. What if ghosts really do come out at night? What if the spirits of our loved ones - or hated ones - follow us around? Do they watch us pee? Masturbate? Or are there rules and regulations a spirit must follow in order to be able to hang out on Earth? Like, no watching your widow have sex with her new husband.
I'm a skeptic by nature. I think John Edward is a fraud. So how come, in the dark of night, the creeping possibility that my Grandpa was sending me a message from beyond can seem so plausible, so real? If Sister Margaret was watching me right now - which she very well may be - she'd be asking me to show my work and validate my proof.
Grandpa's chair was moving.
Grandpa is dead.
Therefore, Grandpa has come back as a ghost.
I don't think that would fly. Big red D on my paper.
So, Grandma died in 1998. Now, Grandma haunted me even when she was alive. And I know without a doubt that if there ever was an entity that could break through the barrier between life and death in order to come back and haunt someone, it would be Grandma. Which is why it didn't really suprise me when one night about six months after Grandma died (and the rooms above us empty as night) I heard the familiar sounds of the spinning Wheel of Fortune coming from above. I put my ear to the door that led upstairs and listened. Click-click-click-click. Smattering of applause. Grandma's unmistakeable voice cursing in Italian. I glanced at the clock. 7:43. Right in the middle of the Wheel of Fortune time slot. I backed away from the door, more frightened than comforted.
Someone mentioned grief-based hallucinations in the comments last night, and I lean toward that as an explanation.
If ghosts and spirits did exist, we would have a lot less unsolved murders on our hand. I mean, if a ghost can come back to earth to scratch on someone's window or bang a few pots in the attic, why wouldn't a murder victim head straight towards the police station to finger his killer? Why wouldn't JFK come back to tell us who really had it in for him? Imagine the possibilities. History classes taught by the spirit of Thomas Jefferson. Shakespeare giving lectures on Shakespeare. Why not?
Well, I could give a lot of reasons why not, most of them having to do with my sense of reality. Which may not coincide with yours.
Yet, there's a part of my brain that overides the skeptic in me. Once in a while, I'll glance at the meatballs in my freezer (Grandma made them right before she died and I've kept them ever since) and think about getting rid of them. Then a shudder of fear runs through my body as I imagine what Grandma would do if I threw into the garbage my main physical connection to her.
Ok, so I'm torn. It's like not believing in God. Even though I say I'm atheist, I keep an open mind as to whether there's life after death, a place called heaven. I don't want to die and get rejected at the Pearly Gates for being a non believer. So I contradict myself often. And then I wonder who will be there if there is a place where we all gather after death. Wouldn't it be funny if I was greeted by Jim Morrison, who admits that he was conversing with me? Or Grandpa, telling me that he was buzzing the chair, or Grandma, still screaming at Pat Sajak?
No, I know what's going to happen. I'm going to die, ascend to the clouds and be greeted by Sister Margaret of the Jawas, who will gleefully cast me out of the heavens for not showing my work.
It's a bumpy, 39 day road to second-best and the Kerry campaign is riding it with no shocks. Next to go, the brakes.
Let's imagine the Kerry camp and all their important issues stuffed inside a Ford Pinto, driving down a New York City street after a harsh winter. Work with me here. Think potholes. Lots of them. With each subsequent pothole traversed, the Pinto jumps and shimmies. And with each jump and each shimmy, the Camp Kerry car loses another body. Look, another undecided voter has been thrown from the vehicle!
You with me? Good.
Let's take a look at some of those potholes. You have your mini-potholes, the ones that make the car bump around a bit. You may not lose any bodies with this one, but you have potential passengers backing off a bit [via Kerry Spot].
12 News Reporter: Most of the polls are tracking that Sen John Kerry as doing a better job on the economy. My question is, why hasn’t that transferred overall in the poll numbers?
Teresa: It has, of course. Of course it has.
Reporter: He’s still down.
Teresa: He’s not. Did you see the polls today? You saw Zogby and ARG —
Reporter: Yes, but he’s still down in Arizona.Teresa: Oh, who cares? You know, one state is not a whole state. In the whole United States, he is even, even, and in some of them one point ahead, and in some one point behind.
Was that the collective body of Arizona I just saw fall out of the car? Before you ask, the answer to your question is yes. Yes, it does matter what the potential First Lady says in a campaign. Just the other day I heard a clip of Teresa using the word scumbag. It's not like she was referring to terrorists, which might have made it acceptable. No, she was referring to her critics. [the clip is from April, you can see the context of it here]
"I believe there is a nobility in public service. I believe every citizen can be a public servant. And should be," Heinz Kerry told News 4. When Wiggin asked, "Do you think some of the nobility has gone out of public service?" the would-be first lady shot back, "Oh, there is [sic] a lot of scumbags everywhere. Not just in politics. In everything. There are a lot of immoral people everywhere."
So, people who don't engage in public service are immoral scumbags? Eh, that's not even the point. The point is, this is not a woman I want representing my country. She's got a foul mouth and is quick to throw insults at those who dare to not be like her. She's a pothole in the campaign.
Thump. Oh my, I think the fender just fell off the Pinto. It tried to maneuver around this pothole but, this being a hypothetical New York street, the thing was the size of Michael Moore. And it looks to be growing, too. What was once a small crack in the road, peripheral to the Kerry campaign, is now threatening to swallow the Camp Kerry car up whole. As Joe Lockhart hangs desperately onto the steering wheel, Bill Burkett is chasing the Pinto down and it looks like he just about caught the door handle. Having Burkett on board this thing - even if he is an unwanted stowaway - is going to weigh this baby down so hard, every pothole is going to look like the black hole.
Gosh, I love metaphors.
Yesterday, the gang that couldn't campaign straight hit a pothole of major proportions. Thing is, they didn't see it for what it was. The view from their car is, shall we say, skewed. The deep pit looming ahead appeared to be a pit stop; a place where they could get out of the car, stretch their legs and get a little repair work done. They would then use this pit stop to pick up more of those undecided passengers, as well as rally the crowd already in the car.
This pothole has a name: Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi.
Allawi spoke to Congress yesterday, thanking America for its role in moving Iraq towards democracy. It was a moving speech, made by a man "almost axed to death by Saddam's henchmen in the U.K. and under constant threat of assassination today."
Not only was the Camp Kerry Pinto traveling far off course when Allawi came to town (it was on Ohio), but Kerry comes out and all but calls Allawi a liar. Ponder this: the man who wants to be President of the United States could not be bothered to meet up with the man who will play a vital role in a vital part of foreign affairs for the next few years. And then, he disses him. Allawi is thanking the country Kerry wants to be in charge of and all he can do is spit at him.
Well, that's par for the Kerry course, anyhow. After all, this is the guy who called our allies fraudulent.
Back to the car metaphor, it seems as if the Little Pinto That Couldn't is purposely steering into these potholes. Rather than drive around them or find another route, they keep chugging along like extreme drivers looking for a challenge. Daredevil campaigning, in a way.
Most of the people hanging on to this deathtrap of a car are there only because they don't like any other available cars. They ignore the bumps and look away when the driver - like a character out of Crazy Taxi - plays chicken with oncoming traffic.
Eventually this car, like thousands of Pintos before it - is going to meet a nasty end when the big Bush Bus rams it from behind. As the Kerry campaign goes down in flames, with it will the hopes and dreams of a million desperate people holding "Bush is Hitler" signs. But they knew what they were getting into. I say, let them crash.
You people who are running alongside the Kerry car right now, debating whether to grab that handle or not: There's still time. You can still back away from the car before it's too late. Do you really want to be riding these crater-filled streets with no shocks?
The Republican National Committee operates its own 24/7 anti-news network to monitor coverage and orchestrate a rapid response. Salon reports that the story casting doubt on the documents was first pushed into the news stream by Creative Response Concepts, a Republican public relations firm. Then, selected bloggers went to work led by an Atlanta lawyer who helped get President Bill Clinton disbarred and was the first who called the memos fakes. His charges spread like a prairie fire through the rabid conservative grapevine and amen corner. The goal: Focus the media on Rather, not Bush. CBS initially stood by the documents, then hedged, saying that even if they were flawed, the story that Bush had disobeyed his commander's order to have a physical was accurate in essence. But it finally had to concede it was a mistake to run the story. [emphasis mine]Were you selected? You? You? You? You? You? Did the GOP feed you the Queen of the Space Unicorns line? No, I didn't think so. Danny Schechter and Newsday owe some people an apology. Yea, I know. Not likely. I'm more likely to capture a real space unicorn before we see that happen. Or maybe not. 'Fess up guys, which one of you is really Karl Rove? My money is on Goldstein, but I'll give 5-2 odds on Treacher. Update: See, also: Jeff "Karl" Goldstein, Allah and Bill.
I dropped DJ off at baseball practice yesterday afternoon. I had 90 minutes before he had to be picked up again. I knew what I wanted to do with at least part of those 90 minutes but my conscience was smacking me around.
I sat in the idling car in front of the baseball field for a good twenty minutes contemplating what I was about to do. Or not do.
Green Day was live on K-Rock. They were playing their own set of chosen songs. Surrender by Cheap Trick came on and I sang.
Surrender, surrender, but don't give yourself away....
Every momentous occasion has a song that plays in the background, lyrics speaking only to you. But Cheap Trick was sending me contradicting messages. How could I both surrender to the demon sitting on my shoulder, egging me on, yet not give myself away? To actually do what I was contemplating would be giving away my very soul to the dark side.
To make matters worse, I had my daughter in the car with me. I would be dragging her into this as well and while she could never understand the meaning of all this - coming from an entirely different viewpoint on this than I - I nonetheless asked her opinion. If I was taking her along for the ride, she had a right to an opinion on the matter.
I slowly explained to her - using fact, figures, historical data and quotes - what the situation was. She nodded in all the right places, threw in a few well-placed mmhmms and, when I was done, said:
"Mom, you are out of your freaking mind. Who the hell spends this much time agonizing over buying a DVD?"
She had no clue. None at all.
By this time I had wasted nearly half of the 90 minutes and Green Day was now playing The Who's The Kids are Alright. Maybe that meant Natalie was right? Was I out of my mind? Probably.
It was too late to go all the way to Best Buy. Perhaps my decision was made for me. Then Natalie said that she needed some things for school. Reverse decision! Wal-Mart, here we come! I would have just enough time to drive to Wal-Mart, send Natalie down the school supply aisle and sprint to the DVD section. If I did this all in a rush, I wouldn't have time to contemplate the ramifications of what I was doing.
I met up with Darth Vader at the front of aisle three. An omen, of course. He stared at me (as much as cardboard can stare) menacingly, just daring me to reach out and touch his display. Who can resist the force? Not I.
My hands trembled as they seemingly floated on their own will towards the silver-hued box. A device on the box blinked red. Buy. Me. Buy. Me. Buy. Me. My hands trembled in mid air. I could have sworn the cardboard Vader said "I find your lack of faith disturbing." I grabbed it before the angel on my shoulder could find the words to stop me.
I cradled the DVD in my arms and met up with Natalie near the checkout. She eyed me suspiciously when she saw I was holding the movie. What will Justin say? she whispered.
I put my things on the checkout belt. The belt whirred into action and carried the box towards the cashier. She was just about to pick it up to scan it when I grabbed it out of her hands. It all played out in slow motion and my cry of "NO!" reverberated throughout the store in a long, slow drawl. Nooooooooooooo! The cashier stared hard at me.
"I don't want to buy this." I said defiantly. I turned my head towards aisle three to stare down Vader, but I was afraid of being turned into a pillar of salt so I averted my eyes.
We left the store with just some loose leaf reinforcements and a bottle of White-Out. Oh, and with my dignity intact, of course. After we picked up DJ and recounted the whole story for him, Green Day - still spinning records on K-Rock - played Slayer's Raining Blood. It felt right for some reason.
When I pulled up in front of the house, Justin was waiting outside.
"I felt a great disturbance in the force about twenty minutes ago." He was glaring hard at me. "Please tell me you didn't."
I showed him the bag with the two lonely items in it. He put his arm around me and stared into my eyes.
I love you, he said.
A senior Kerry aide phoning the forgery-passer at the request of CBS? CBS is advising the Kerry campaign? And the Kerry campaign is following the advice? Fire them all.Yes. I've been saying all along that this story is huge in terms of it giving the mainstream media (MSM) a black eye. Let me reiterate: This is, for me, not about Bush and his guard duty. I don't care about that inasmuch as I no longer care about Kerry's holiday in Cambodia. And I think it should be obvious to anyone observing this farce what the real issue here is. So why do I feel like I have to shake some people by the collar to get them to see the importance of all these revelations? How can you just blow off the fact that a major newscaster went ahead with a story that was backed only by shoddy documents whose authenticity had not been proved for the sole reason of rushing that story on the air because it flows with the newscaster's political bias? You don't believe that? Fine, there's a two for one sale on bridges today. Get out your checkbook. Dan Rather was silenced? Silenced? Get a grip. I'll say it again. This is about the media and how they report stories. It's about bias, influence peddling and agendas. As my hero Jay Sherman would say, it stinks! This is a political scandal. It's no longer a he said/she said/Karl Rove used his Magic Conspiracy Machine story. How some people can be in such complete denial about the major issues here is beyond my comprehension. The disconnect from reality has to be intense for you to not see what's going on here. Even if John Kerry had nothing at all to do with this, it reflects badly on his campaign. If one of his advisers is running around making whisper deals with a major news channel to help that channel spread a story about the opponent, well, my god, how can you not see what's wrong there? You know, if I were Karl Rove I would be flattered right about now. Apparently, the consensus among dems and all stripes of the left is that Rove is a freaking genius. How else can you explain that they think he is the mastermind of every single thing that has gone wrong with the Kerry campaign and every single thing that has turned the tide in Bush's direction? Genius, I tell you. And most likely a magical sorcerer, too. I imagine that if Rove and Terry McAuliffe ever joined forces, the would call themselves Pinky and the Brain.
Bill Burkett, in a weekend interview with CBS News Anchor and Correspondent Dan Rather, has acknowledged that he provided the now-disputed documents used in the Sept. 8 "60 Minutes Wednesday" report on President Bush’s service in the Texas Air National Guard. Burkett, a retired National Guard lieutenant colonel, also admits that he deliberately misled the CBS News producer working on the report, giving her a false account of the documents’ origins to protect a promise of confidentiality to the actual source. Burkett originally said he obtained the documents from another former Guardsman. Now he says he got them from a different source whose connection to the documents and identity CBS News has been unable to verify to this point. Burkett’s interview will be featured in a full report on tonight’s CBS Evening News with Dan Rather (6:30-7:00 p.m., ET/PT).You can read the rest here. Burkett was set up by a big fish. Maybe Rather and CBS think a quick passive-aggressive apology (a week too late) and passing the blame to someone else will put an end to this. But I ask this: What happened to Rather's unimpeachable source? It's obvious that's not a reference to Burkett. So why not come totally clean and tell us who the source is? Burkett is merely a patsy, put up to this by other people who knew that Burkett - who has a hard on for anything anti-Bush - would jump at the chance to possibly bring Bush down. Someone call O.J. because the real killer is still out there. Update: I think Rather is going to get away with this and that pisses me off to no end. CBS will keep firing away at will at everyone except their man Rather. I mean, a man of such integrity and fairness, a man so honored and admired, cannot go down like this. He is Dan Rather and when the battlefield clears, he'll be sitting in a throne while the peasants lay bloody in the streets. Rather to Mary Mapes: When I am king you will be first against the wall.
Last week, amid increasing questions about the authenticity of documents used in support of a 60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY story about President Bush's time in the Texas Air National Guard, CBS News vowed to re-examine the documents in question—and their source—vigorously. And we promised that we would let the American public know what this examination turned up, whatever the outcome. Now, after extensive additional interviews, I no longer have the confidence in these documents that would allow us to continue vouching for them journalistically. I find we have been misled on the key question of how our source for the documents came into possession of these papers. That, combined with some of the questions that have been raised in public and in the press, leads me to a point where—if I knew then what I know now—I would not have gone ahead with the story as it was aired, and I certainly would not have used the documents in question. But we did use the documents. We made a mistake in judgment, and for that I am sorry. It was an error that was made, however, in good faith and in the spirit of trying to carry on a CBS News tradition of investigative reporting without fear or favoritism. Please know that nothing is more important to us than people's trust in our ability and our commitment to report fairly and truthfully.I call shennanigans. That is the biggest piece of bullshit to hit the airwaves since Sidd Finch.
EL PAÍS apologizes for the use of the images of the terrorist attack against the Twin Towers in New York, which happend on September 11, 2001, for a campaign to aquire subscribers to ELPAIS.es. This regrettable campaign, carried out through emails, supported on two photos of New York, one with the Twin Towers and another one without, under the heading “You can do a lot in one day, imagine what can happen in three months”. The promotional campaign started last Monday, September 13, and was sent to more than 50,000 recipients before it was cancelled, on Wednesday 15th. [...] Any explanation about the chain of errors which led to the launch of this campaign is insufficient, which some of our readers rightly qualified as repugnant. We share the disgust they have expressed in numerous messages and letters to the management and we are sorry it happened.[Translated by Southern Watch - you can read the full text here] This isn't just an apology; it's an acceptance of responsibility and a sincere effort to rectify the situation and hold people accountable for their actions. Perhaps some people could use this as an object lesson. Apology accepted, El Pais. Barcepundit has more on the story.
I watched my son playing hockey with his friends in the driveway last night and my daughter chasing her little cousins around on the lawn and it felt so damn good. The air was cool, the sun was throwing off colors into the early evening sky and the jingle of the ice cream truck could be heard from blocks away. It was just one of those moments that you want to hold onto forever; you want time to stand still so we are always this happy and this joyous and this free. Of course, it doesn't work that way, which is why we have cameras and camcorders and halfway decent memories. There are going to be days when the kids are screaming at each other instead of playing harmoniously together, where the neighbor's dog is taking a crap on your lawn and it's raining so hard your gutters are overflowing and someone is calling you with bad news. No one remembers the exact moments of being ecstatically happy. No one says, oh on July 16, 2002 at 7:08 p.m., I felt a surge of happiness in my heart. But we all remember times and dates and intimate details of our moments of despair. Just as no one takes pictures or movies of their family members sobbing over the coffin of Grandma. Well maybe they do, but I don't.2003 came to an end and I welcomed 2004 with a small ray of hope that it would bring better things. When I said that out loud to my husband, he asked what I meant by better things. Had the last years been so personally horrible or had I just internalized 9/11 to the point that my entire being was marked by the sights and sounds of that day? I went back and read those paragraphs I wrote in September and I promised myself live 2004 in a different way. No, I would never, ever forget. It's always there, it's an awareness that will never fully end. It's there when I see the cars with their 9/11 bumper stickers, honoring the dead. It's there when I watch the news, it's there on a day like this when the sky is blue and the air is crisp and it's....just like then. It's there, believe it or not, every time the digital clock shows the time 9:11. At all those times, it's like a small, cold hand touches me on the back. I shiver and remember. It's a surge of memories that come out me at once, not one particular picture or sound or memory; it's just a feeling. It's that small, black lump showing itself again. It may have shrunk but it will never, ever disappear. It's September 2004. The third anniversary is in less than a week, which means this is the fourth year in a row I am spending at least one perfect weather day regurgitating every minute feeling of sorrow, despair, anger and disbelief. I was all set to do the Voices Project again. I was ready to share stories, to remember, to ask how you feel three years on. No. That's what I told myself this morning. No. I refuse to start myself down that long, rocky slope of depression again. I refuse to take this perfect, blue-sky day and spend it reliving days of darkness. I can't. Tomorrow, my son starts his middle school career. My daughter starts high school. Time has a way of smacking you in the face when you need it most. I can't once again entrench myself in some virtual dark, dank basement where I'm huddled over the keyboard, weeping. I have moved on. There, I said it. Not moved on in the sense that I've forgotten or I don't think it's important. 9/11 will always be a defining moment in my life. It has shaped and colored my world like no other event. It has essentially changed who I am and who I'll always be. But all my writing and gathering of stories and wallowing will not bring Pete Ganci back. It will not bring back any of my father's friends, or any of your friends or relatives. It will only make my hurt feel fresh and it is not healthy to walk around with open wounds. Oh, I still have the anger and pain but, instead of trying to will them out of me by throwing myself into a mental re-enactment of that day, I've decided to let them be. I've learned to live with the little, black lump of nothingness and now I have learned how to not make that bigger than it should be. Nor smaller. It's the piece of 9/11 I own and I'd no sooner give that up than give up a limb. Why? Because I've learned so much from carrying that around with me. I've learned a lot about myself and the people around me. I've learned much about the world. In a way, that black lump soaks up any new despair like a sponge. It's a place where I store things and I'm able to call up that anger or sadness when I need to. But I don't need to now. What I need to do is enjoy the life I am grateful to have. I need to breathe the sweet, fall-like air and think not of death but of living. I have mums to plant, a new house to renovate, children who are growing up too fast for me to not enjoy every moment I have with them. I am moving forward, I guess, not really moving on. I'm leaving behind the Voices Project and leaving behind my annual conscious decision to wallow. I am not leaving behind my despair and anger because to do that would be to forget, which I will never do. I just want to live again, in a way where I won't react viscerally to every mention of 9/11. I think the only way to do that is to approach this anniversary in a completely different way than I have in the past. I approach it with hope and optimism and an eye towards the future. I think it's in my best interest to honor the dead by living. I can think of no other way to explain it and it might sound contradictory to you. I've wanted revenge on the terrorists for so long. Someone once said the best revenge is living well. So, perhaps, not cowering in fear or lashing out in anger as a result of 9/11 is the best revenge I can hope for right now. And before you say I'm contradicting everything I stood for in the past three years, this "moving on" I'm talking about has nothing to do with forgetting who our enemies are and what they have done to us. It's moving on from a striclty emotional standpoint because one can only live inside an emotional train wreck for so long. I think, above all, reacting to this anniversary with reverence rather than rhetoric, with hope rather than hate, with dared optimism rather than depression, is the best we can do for those who died. This is the first and last thing I will write about the third anniversary of 9/11. I will attend a sunrise memorial on the beach this Saturday and I will whisper thanks to the heros and feel sorrow for all who died. And as the sun rises, I will greet the new day as another one in which to appreciate that I still can have absolute moments of happiness while still holding onto my piece of 9/11. Note: Does this mean I'm blogging again? Not necessarily. I think I just owed you, and myself, an explanation of things.