This is pretty much your standard Web log. I write about politics, life, interests, and thoughts. Be forewarned: the lizard at the Greens was left unattended.

Monday, June 30, 2003

Here is what I mean in the post below this one:

This excerpt is from this article.

We're not talking here about a mere difference of political opinion or point of view -- liberal as opposed to conservative, Democrat as opposed to Republican. It's more profound than that, having to do with the meaning of America itself. And you can't depend on either the political or media establishment to lead the debate, because both are ethically parasitic by nature and have a vested interest in not taking any stance that might, with even the most fundamental shift of the wind, strand them on the other side of a very bloody line; Edward R. Murrow died a long time ago, in a braver age. That leaves the matter up to those of you who have no voice other than the cacophony of scattered electronic whispers that may or may not be too late to pass the lips of whatever embodiment of Uncle Sam you think still exists. There's no destroying the village in order to save it; you'll have to answer the DeLays in a way that defends to the end their right to hate democracy even if they're too smart to say it in so many words. You do that because only by defending DeLay's right to hate democracy do you defend democracy itself, along with your own right -- assuming you're at last ready to exercise it -- to stop kidding yourself and finally start calling him what he calls you: the enemy.

-- Steve Erickson SALON | Jan. 20, 1999

Some thoughts that I want to develop further

1) Here in America, the mass-media--newspapers, television, cable--news is afraid to challenge anything that Republicans say. If the right says: tax cuts create jobs, the media says o.k. But if a Democrat says that they'll hurt the country in the long term, the media will do everything but a psychological evaluation on the person who says that. It's almost as if the media is in love with the right.

2) There is in fact a vast right-wing conspiracy. From Tom DeLay as the puppet master in the House of Representatives, to Grover Norquist, and his Americans for Tax Reform--trying to pack right-wing lobbyists in Washington.

3) There's a narrow-minded group of people who serve the interests of either the rich, or of socially conservative right-wing Christians. These people are destroying the coutry from the inside, and yet they're the first ones to wrap themselves around the flag, and say that they're the "true Americans"

4) Income disparity in the United States is the highest in the developed world, which is to say that a poor person is poorer here, than he'd be if he lived in, say, Sweden, see no. 3 above.

5) The lies of the Bush Admin. and how they've gotten away with them. He's worse than Nixon and yet the media doesn't cover them, see no. 1 above.

There are other things on my mind as well, other political things--but very important, these things do matter.

Marge, are there any men in the house, any "political" men?

My Day To-day

I was just basically looking for work today. I went to see a couple
of places in Manhattan, mainly messenger jobs--pretty much the only
thing I can get at this point. I get to one place and fill out an
application. The guy says that I have to give him two copies of my ID; I
go to a copy place thinking I don't have any cash on me, when in fact I
have $10. So I go to a bank to get money from my credit card. I got $20,
but it's really $25. The whole thing takes like half-an-hour. When I get
back to that place the guy says "You can't get copies without getting
lost." I said I had to go to the bank to get money (for the
photocopies)--because I thought I didn't have any cash on me. The guy
says "I'll call 'ya". I say seriously I had to go to the bank, to which
he says "seriously, I'll call 'ya."

I was up-and-down Manhattan today. I filled out an application at
Borders on 33rd and 2nd. While there I went into the Loews Theater and
saw 28 Days Later. As far as horror movies go, the plot was standard.
How many movies don't have a plot where there's a
zombie/creature/infected where if he bites you, you become infected. Off
the top of my head: Omega Man, Night of the Living Dead, Resident Evil.
However, this one is different. Unlike Resident Evil, it was made
outside of the Hollywood-Industrial Complex. Think about Resident Evil,
which is the worst of the three I mentioned. The dialogue was trite,
hackneyed, and vapid. It was your basic Hollywood summer action/horror
film. They scare you with loud, shrill sound that has nothing to do with
what's on screen. 28 Days Later... is what a zombie/infected movie
should be. The acting was great, the dialogue was real. And the plot was
innovative. It had elements of a psychological thriller. Suffice it to
say that this movie was shot in DV in England, and it shows that's a
good thing. I think the visuals of a deserted London are worth the price
of admission. You have to ask yourself, how did they do that. London is
a very large and congested city, to get any stretch of it closed to
traffic and devoid of people must have been hard.

Tomorrow: go off and look for work again!

Sunday, June 29, 2003

On the content of most blogs here.

I've noticed that there are many teenage girls who have blogs on It sort of makes sense.
Teenage girls usually keep a diary. In the 21st Century, it seems
natural that they would now post them on the Internet.

I tend to think of a blog as a persons opinions on a set of issues, be
they politics, religion--the serious matters in a persons life. The
blogs I've seen from these girls are filled with the most trivial
nonsense. They went to the mall, they went to some guy's house, they
hung-out, etc. There's no sense of punctuation--of writing of any kind.
It's as if they're IMing themselves in their blogs.

wat r they th'king. i dont no. w'at do u t'ink.

Saturday, June 28, 2003

My thoughts on Iraq War II: the defeat (?) of Saddam

First of all I think as Paul Berman does in his new book, that
Liberals should provide a cohesive argument against the threats of
authoritarianism, in all its forms. While the war in Iraq wasn't against
a fundamentalist Muslim regime, it most certainly was against a
tyrannical authoritarian.

That said, I completely disagree--am, in fact, mildly shocked--at the
way in which the Bush Admin. handled 1) the supposed evidence of
Saddam's WMD, 2) the misleading reasons for the war, and 3) is handling
the post-war occupation.

The Bush Admin. had not argued to go into Iraq on grounds of
humanitarianism. In his state of the Union address he did not say that
we must go into Iraq to free political prisoners. He fudged on several
things. First of all, he was not clear to the American people about our
reasons for going in, which were ostensibly about WMD--but as Wolfowitz
said that was mainly the bureaucratic reason they used--and he wasn't
clear on how long we'd be staying. He should have leveled with the
American people, instead of making claims, as Colin Powell did, about
the tons and tons, and thousands of liters of WMD.

His administration should've told the truth. Instead of exaggerating
the threat of Saddam Hussein--the Iraqi army basically forfeited the
war--he should have said what his administrations true intentions were.
Of course you could argue that had his administration been completly
upfront, and honest, there mightn't have been a war, but that's how a
democracy is supposed to work.

In any case, now we're stuck with Iraq. We can't leave because surly
Iraq would be on its way toward joining Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia as
the home of even more Muslim Fundamentalists, or it could become a war
zone like Somalia split along ethnic lines, and erupt into civil war. So
we can't leave for the better part of a decade, at least. On the other
hand the longer American troops stay there, the greater the resistance
by Iraqis toward our occupation will be.

What we are seeing now is the weak planning by the Pentagon of the
post-war occupation. The neo-conservatives that were instrumental in
this war, like Wolfowitz, and the PNAC people, spent twelve years
planning the war, but apparently they disregarded, or ignored, the
after-the-war. This is what amazes me: the neocons spent more than a
decade planning this, Wolfowitzs suggested going into Iraq right after
9/11, now we're there, and it's falling to pieces.

Let me start with Afghanistan. We bomb the Taliban to the hilt while
the 'Northern Alliance' takes over on the ground, ensuring a relatively
quick overthrow of the Taliban. Then we basically neglect Afghanistan,
leave it in the hands of the warlords, and spread a few thousand troops
in Kabul. End result: Afghanistan is almost as bad is it was before. If
Karzai lives one more year, I'll be surprised.

Here's what I thought would happen. We send 50,000 troops into
Afghanistan after the downfall of the Taliban, flood the place with
international aid, engineers, construction, etc. We kill the warlords,
put in an American as governor, and run the place for five years while
we get rid of the remaining Taliban, and ensure that the Afghani people
have a place in the modern world. This did not happen.

I thought we would do something similar in Iraq. Iraq was supposed
to be the grand test of American unilateralism and its ability to
exercise its muscle at nation building. We can't screw this one up we
were told.

So far Murphy's Law has been in full compliance,
everything that could've gone wrong has, so far, done so. And this is
not because it's inherently difficult to bring order to a society such
as Iraq. With the right planning beforehand, and the cooperation of the
international community, we could have been building water treatment
plants, instead of trying to keep loyalists from blowing up pipelines.

If this is how we'll continue to wage the War on Terror--which so
far has made us less secure in the world--then I don't see how we can
succeed. If this is Bush's great contribution to foreign
policy--preemptively bring a society to the brink of collapse, while
reneging on our obligations as an occupier--then his is the wrong

They say that the Republicans are the ones that are strong on
defense. If by strong you mean using the wrong tools to fight terror,
then they are. If however, you mean that we must confront terrorism
with more than JDAMs and good v. evil rhetoric; that we need to show
Iraq, and the world, that our strength lies in compassion and justice;
that blowing people up isn't going to bring a peaceful world for
Americans, then you'd be right.

About me:

I am in my early-twenties. I've been unemployed practically since I
flunked-out of college three years ago. My life since then has mainly
consisted of counting-time--watching TV, surfing the web, reading,
looking for work, etc. Not necessarily in that order.

I'm a very political person. I would describe myself
as a liberal-socialist, with anti-authoritarian tendencies.
I believe in the goodness of humanity, but am well aware
of the evils it can cause.

I am not a vegetarian, although I like vegetarian dishes.

Expect from me the truth--or at least my version of it. But not

I hope you'll find I'm a likeable person.