Sociable

Monday, May 24, 2004

The biggest mistake of Viet Nam

Iraq is on the verge of discovering something many countries have learned in the past... that being "defeated" by the United States is one of the best things that can happen to a nation. (A 1959 satirical movie called "The Mouse The Roared" was built entirely up on the premise of a small country declaring war on the United States just so they could reap the rewards of defeat.
link - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053084/)

After we defeated Germany in 1945, we rebuilt the entire country AT OUR OWN EXPENSE. Nowadays, Germany can hardly be considered a "puppet" government of the USA, although many are suggesting that is what Iraq is being set up as.

After we defeated Vichy France in 1945, we rebuilt the country AT OUR OWN EXPENSE. Nowadays, France can hardly be considered a "puppet" government of the USA.

After we defeated Japan in 1945, we rebuilt the country AT OUR OWN EXPENSE. Nowadays, although friendly to the United States, Japan can hardly be considered a "puppet" government of the USA.

After the USSR fell in the 1990's, we sent billions of dollars to rebuild the country and stabilze the economy... our biggest nemesis for nearly 50 years, but their loss in the cold war didn't stop us from giving them a hand-up and help them into the modern economy. Nowadays, Russia can hardly be considered a "puppet" government of the USA.

After we wiped out the Taliban and defeated Afghanistan last year, we began rebuilding the entire country AT OUR OWN EXPENSE. Today, the Afghanis are already showing great independence and can hardly be considered a "puppet" government of the USA.

I'm sure you get the pattern here. The generosity of Americans (particular after we have faced an adversary in war) is legendary. We rebuild entire countries and do not demand some Roman tribute, which would be justified and fitting (to defray costs of building a better, more advanced country than the one we found.)

If North Vietnam had been smart, they would have allowed us to win that police action, and today they would be a prosperous, thriving contender in the world markets.

One can only assume Syria and Jordan are feeling tinges of jealousy that Iraq will be soon the most advanced country in the Middle East. Perhaps they are secretly hoping the US will go after them next and they too can reap the benefits of defeat.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

We all fear "running off"....

Today, while shopping at King Soopers (our local Kroger grocery store), the frantic and scolding voices of parents reprimanding their child caught my ear.

"You know better than to run off! You scared us to death! What were you thinking?"

As I rounded the corner, I noticed that the child in question was probably three or four years old - that special and fleeting age wherein everything and everybody is a new experience, a new adventure, and a wondrously fresh experience. That age where we dream of running barefoot over mountains just to see what lies beyond. Maybe a unicorn is just over the ridge... maybe waterfalls that glisten with every color of the rainbow and splash gold, green, and purple droplets on the surrounding flowers (which are made of bubble gum and sugar sweets of course.)

Now, it has long been a pet peeve of mine that Americans have lost our innate desire to "think outside the box." This manner of creativity and imagination is one of the many corporate catch-phrases for someone who is by nature unconfined by the status quo. Speakers are paid thousands upon thousands of dollars by major corporations to teach employees how to "think outside the box." Obviously, it was someone thinking outside the box who discovered that you didn't need vinyl in order to reproduce sounds... or that a sewing needle with the "eye" at the pointed end would make the sewing machine possible. (see this story for an interesting take on how this particular invention came about - http://www.anecdotage.com/index.php?aid=8691 ) All the greatest inventions and innovations have come from "thinking outside the box... ALL of them!

Our entire country was built by men like Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, and Monroe who (by the standards of the day) thought so far outside the box that they were labeled "idealists" "eccentric" or just outright "insane." Our culture, that unique amalgamation of freedom and tolerance, of ingenuity and non-conformist attitudes - created the most advanced civilization the world has ever known... however, we have lost that creative edge.

This brings us back to my encounter with the young family. Could it be through our over-protectiveness of our children that we stifle our natural instincts to go beyond? Do we give to our children (at the ripe age of 5 or so) a fear of the unknown? We warn them of the dangers of bicycle riding without a helmet... even though riding a bike is hardly the most dangerous thing they will do on a daily basis... we tell them not to talk to strangers, even though approaching and listening to those we are unfamiliar with is the ONLY way we can become truly empathetic to the beliefs and feelings of others... we tell them to stay close and not get lost, even though exploration and discovery is in our very nature.

It seems to me, that if the parents in the store had been as focused on their child as they were on which brand of toothpaste was on sale, that they could have watched her explore an entirely new world. They could have enjoyed the wonder and excitement in her eyes, and taught her a valuable lesson that exploring is okay... 'cause mom and dad will be there to watch and make sure you are okay until you can venture on your own. We are essentially teaching our children to look after themselves because it is too much of a hassle for us to do it. It was not the child's responsibility to "not wander off." It was the parent's job to keep a watchful eye on her. The parents failed that task, so what happens? They yell at the little girl. No wonder we need to unlearn what is drilled into our heads at so young an age... namely... stay within the box, 'cause I don't wanna' hafta' go looking for you.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Michael Moore, The big fat vulture

In 1989, a hitherto unknown "film maker" basking in well deserved anonymity and obscurity decided to create a "humorous look at how General Motors destroyed Flint Michigan." Michael Moore, the 35-year-old (at the time) eternally pubescent Jabba The Hutt and current reigning King of Hearts in Hollywierd, began his illustrious career by filming the misery, the hardships, and heartaches of workers in Flint Michigan who had lost jobs through downsizing.
Michael Moore boasts that he borrowed the $160,000 it took to film the "documentary." The film has grossed over $6,706,000.oo. How much of that money went to the downtrodden in Flint that made this movie the "success" it was?

In 2002, Moore came to Colorado to "document" the Columbine High School Tragedy and assail the gun industry. Like his earlier works, there was much self-serving, egotistical grandstanding and many saw this as a Moore-vehicle rather than anything of true substance. Many considered it little more than a 120-minute "disinfomercial" for the anti-gun lobby.
With a budget of 4 million dollars, "Bowling for Columbine" has received over 100 million dollars in DVD Sales alone. The Box office receipts are ponderous, and you can see them here http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0310793/business
In short, HUNDREDS of MILLIONS of Dollars, and has one victim of the Columbine massacre seen one red cent of that money?

Now, Moore releases "Fahrenheit 911, The temperature at which freedom burns."

It is only now that the pattern becomes obvious. Like a drug addict who starts with the small stuff, and works up to heavy-duty narcotics, Michael Moore first fed off misery, now he feasts upon corpses. Like a vulture, he scours the United States for those in distress, injured, or killed, swoops in and makes millions upon millions of dollars off of their loss.
Ambulance chasing lawyers at least provide a service to their client, but Moore, gorges on the burnt, the shot, the bleeding, and the dead... fills his coffers and moves to the next group of victims. I doubt that any of the proceeds from this latest tripe will find its way to the firefighters, the policemen, the victims in New York, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, or their families!

Michael Moore will once again feast on the despair of others and await his next buffet of dead bodies. One can only assume a "documentary" about the Daniel Pearl and Nicholas Berg executions is in the works.



For more on the lies in "Bowling for Columbine" check out
http://www.hardylaw.net/Truth_About_Bowling.html

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Okay.. so *thats* what you call torture??

So That’s what you call torture?

Okay, forgive me if I seem insensitive on this, but my big problem is that I watched the full video of the Nicholas Berg execution BEFORE looking at the pictures of the abuse at Abu Ghraib.

In that video I saw 4 minutes of dissertation in Arabic, while Mr. Berg knelt blindfolded and bound in front of his 5 assassins.

Side thought - I wish there were a less respectful term for the 5 butchers of Nicholas Berg, "assassins" conjures images of a slick James Bond-type working on behalf of King and Country, or even John Wilkes Booth, who-although cowardly and fanatical- had a conviction in his beliefs and was fully prepared to die defending those beliefs.... these scum didn't show their faces, never faced their victim like men, and are the most cowardly excuses of human beings ever laid onto videotape.

As the video proceeded, the collected butchers shifted their weight in a couldn't-care-less, let's-get-on-with-this attitude of impatience and casualness, as if slaughtering a human being was just one more thing on their list of chores for the afternoon. When the diminutive speaker had finished reading from his prepared speech, Nicholas Berg was kicked onto his side and wrestled to a prone position like a sheep to be sheared. Considering that Mr. Berg's hands and feet were bound, this showed incredible strength and ability on the behalf of the Arabs (/sarcasm.) I then expected to see some large machete, sword, or other sizable blade come forth for the execution. After all, even in brutality, some things like expedience are expected. Didn't you see the movie "Anna and the King" where Tip Tum and Lun Tha are disposed of?

Not in this case. The butchers took a small knife, no more than 8 inches long and cut repeatedly into the neck of their victim as he struggled under the scrum of murderers. The slaughter was time consuming, and anything but swift. The carving of flesh in this video makes the guillotine seem blissfully humane. Behind his mask, Nicholas Berg struggled for what must have seemed an eternity in the dark for his life, for freedom, for release... The very same freedom, he and other Americans and Brits had brought to millions of Iraqis. Now he was giving his life so that others would have a better one. In the video, his struggle is a morbid gyration of stretching, crawling, twisting to get away from his captors as they continue to puncture and carve at his throat. As he stretched his neck forward, in the classic move of struggle, the Arabs would once again slash at the open and vulnerable flesh beneath the chin. He was still alive while the massive puddle of blood amassed beneath him. I must honestly say that I am unaware if there was a "Perseus holding the head of Medusa" pose in the video (a-la the Daniel Pearl execution), I couldn't watch that far into the video. A man, bound and blindfolded, struggling and writhing in a pool of his own blood as his life was slipping away from him in the most brutal display of inhumanity was too much to take.

I imagine the description I have written has made your stomach turn, which was its intent. You see... I know many of you will never see the video, and will be blissfully unaware of the horrific images. Just as many have never seen, or have conveniently forgotten the images of individuals intentionally jumping out an 80th story window to escape being burned alive in a pool of aircraft fuel on September 11th.

Those images are just too much for us to comprehend and assimilate. So we ignore them.
But we can't ignore them!!!!!
Not when we think that some pictures from an Iraqi prison (that contain little more offensiveness than a fraternity hazing) are somehow worthy of the intense focus they have been given.

To look at Abu Ghraib in such light of condemnation while we forget the hell that Nicholas Berg went through, or Daniel Pearl, or the 4 contractors who were beaten and burned - their bodies hung from a traffic bridge... is uncalled for, illogical, and shameful.

Kerry's lovely offspring......


The Lovely Ms. Kerry

Did you guys catch this picture of Miss (or is it Mz.?) Alexandra Kerry, daughter of presumed democrat contender John Kerry? Once again, that good example of the immodesty of a liberal... or is it the Kerry family strict adherence to Catholic values?

The number one question I guess is, was the transparency of her dress intentional or just a "wardrobe malfunction"?

If it was intentional, then the flashes (no pun intended) of another Clintonesque era of love..sex... and immodesty are alarming to someone who finds public displays of indecency...well.. indecent. If it was a fau pas, then what the blazes was she thinking ????? Does she not have the mental capacity to understand that certain materials are transparent under bright lights (such as camera flashes.) I've seen similar photos of Christina Ricci, Winnona Ryder, and a handful of other red-carpet walkers and always wondered if the translucency was by intent. In the Hollywood scene where shock and eye-catching is a well learned, rehearsed, and practiced art, I've usually assumed that they knew fully well what they were wearing... and the reaction it would get.

But this woman is the daughter of a Presidential candidate. Should she not get as much grief, ridicule, and exposure as the daughters and nieces of the President?

Biting the hand that saves your life.....

Biting the Hand That Saves you

Granted, the 9-11 Commission is mandated to find faults surrounding the greatest attack on American soil ever, and regarding Abu Ghraib one can hardly argue that the perpetrators of illegal treatment of Iraqi prisoners don’t warrant investigation and punishment. But the ferocity of the attacks from Congress and the Commission has the tenor of a pit bull salivating at the smell of blood.

When the Commission starts demeaning the first-responders of New York City (as they have this past week),they need to take an enormous step back and realize that they are attacking the men and women who prevented that tragic day from being even worse! Of course communication between police and firemen was flawed that day, no one (not even the NYPD or FDNY) was prepared for the enormity of the attacks, or the unparalleled extent of destruction. Here in Colorado, we ran into similar problems during the much smaller incident at Columbine High School.

Have American forgotten just how shocked and incredulous we all were that terrible morning? Today, the media, and our lawmakers are acting as if planes flying into our largest buildings and the Pentagon were to be as expected as Jay Leno being on the tonight show.

Yes, mistakes were made. If life were perfect, Bin Laden would have been put behind bars immediately after the first WTC bombing. If life were perfect, Saddam would never have gassed hundreds of thousands of his own people, and never would have pursued further developing his nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. If life were perfect, we wouldn't need to send troops half way across the globe to liberate the world of a loose cannon with genocidal and imperialistic tendencies.

Life isn't perfect, but what is the use in attacking those that did their best in a horrific and unforeseen day of calamity? My guess is that the rampant pointing of fingers on the hill serves one purpose alone... the furthering of individual and party political ends. If that be the case, every American should be as disgusted and revolted as they were by ANY picture released from Abu Ghraib.


A Test of Charles' New Blog

Everyone has an opinion, no doubt.

Although there is really no true "qualification" required to share one's opinions, particularly in a society as free, opinionated, and filled-with-experts as the United States, I feel compelled to give a short description of who I am, and why my opinions merit a moment or two of your time.

I am a Colorado native who grew up in a political household. My father was a politician back in the days they were referred to as "statesmen." Discussions with my father about elections, foreign affairs, and world events were more common than baseball scores. He and I shared a love of history, particularly early American history and Empirical history (The rise of the Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, Babylonians, and so on...)

The same blood that ran through the veins of Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, Martha Washington, and other American founders runs through mine, by my relation to Lawrence Lewis (George Washington's adopted son and President Jefferson's Private Secretary).

My political beliefs are the result of a voracious love of the writings of the late 1700's and the growth of this "great experiment" called the United States of America.

I have been an entertainer for the great majority of my life. I began singing in musical comedies at the age of 4 in a production of George M! and have been on stage ever since. I wanted to be an astronaut, and actually got to be casual friends with Jack Swigert, the Command Module Pilot on Apollo 13 (Kevin Bacon played him in the movie.)

In 1985, I was given an appointment to the US Air Force Academy, but foolishly turned it down when I found out I would never be a pilot due to eyesight restriction. At the time, signing over 8 years of my life to school and service was too daunting if I wouldn’t get my wings.

Instead, I joined the US Navy Reserve as an Avation Structural Mechanic, fixing F-14 Tomcats and FA-18 Hornets.

I came back to Denver and got a full time job at a bar called “Packards” which essentially was a Studebakers or Fudruckers with alcohol, a dance floor and a complete 1950’s theme. Through working there, people saw a resemblance to Elvis in my face, eyes, and shape, and encouraged me to “do Elvis.” I never imagined it would become a full time profession, much less that I would perform for Presidents, CEO’s, rock stars, and travel around the world entertaining millions of Elvis fans.

Today I’m a divorced single father of two boys, ages 9 and 12.

My professional webpage is www.elvislive.netfirms.com

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