Wednesday, August 23, 2006

And while you’re at it, you might want to look under your bed too…

There is nothing worse than playing boogey-man politics. And, unfortunately, September 11, 2001 gave this administration the greatest boogey-man imaginable: secretive, exotic, filled with unmitigated hate, powerful, able to strike and disappear in a second, only to reappear months or years later. With the joint attacks on that day, the united states launched its “war on terrorism” to safeguard America in this vast, chaotic world we live in. And if you listen to this administration, they would trumpet the fact that there has been so significant repeat of the terrorist acts since 9/11. However, they fail to mention that in the 200 years before that infamous date there had also been no significant terrorist attack. Quite a track record they’re developing.

But they do not want you to know that. They do not want you to focus on where your jobs are going, why your children are not as educated as Chinese children, why our environment is degrading, why we’re in debt, fat, overworked and underpaid. No, no, no, those are questions for another time. BUT LOOK!! The evil terrorists are at it again! You must vote for us because only we can keep you safe! And if we are not super, 1000% vigilant (damn fuzzy math), then they will get us. We need to “fight them there, or we fight them in the supermarkets and streets here,” according to Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA) on CNN.

This is not to discount the fact that there are terrorists out there, bad ones (speaking of the war on terror, how is Bin Laden doing?). But they are hyperboleed up to the highest level as if our very next breath is tainted with their chemicals, their microbes, unless our valiant Republican party is at the helm to stop them.

very time they are worried that they will lose an election (and you know who I mean when I say “they”), they pull out their supposed trump card of terrorism. Ratcheting it up to scare us and make our hands shake at the ballot box, clicking “Republican so-and-so” just so we feel reassured that we’re safe again, with them in power. Puhhhlease. I can only hope that we are not as easily deluded as they think we are. We outgrew monsters in our closets when we were 8 years old.

Monday, August 14, 2006

I cannot believe...

It never ceases to amaze me how people can behave like Neanderthals sometimes. This story out of Maryland demonstrates that principle clearly. A man, deciding to protest a Muslim candidate to the state’s House of Delegates, has staged a one-man “protest” outside of the candidate’s home, wearing a shirt that says, “Islam Sucks.” His reasoning for his protest? “I had heard that Muslims were generally intolerant of views other than their own, and so I thought I would put it to the test.” By insulting the person? By insulting his personal religion? Who would not be tempted to strike back, talk back, against such statements? The man has been warned of being prosecuted for trespassing. However, if this man were to happen to have a sign saying “Judaism Sucks” in front of a Jewish candidate’s house, you had better believe he’d be slapped with more than just trespassing. Hate crimes, bigotry, all sorts of labels would be associated with him. But since it is a Muslim candidate, then he’s only trespassing. To his credit, the candidate has not dignified the man with a response, saying there is nothing constructive about his dialogue. What true words!

The double-standard that is appearing, and the whole culture which resides behind this single man’s attitude is sickening. What sweeping ignorance has paved his path to arrive at this candidate’s front door. Such wide, blunt brushes he paints other cultures with. We paint cultures with. I thought as a nation we had progressed beyond such thing. We should be ashamed that this happens here in our country of the free. And do not bring to me the argument that it is free speech. The man himself defends his actions, saying they are not hateful, merely expressing an opinion. But the cultural connotations of his words transcend mere opinions into the realm of hate-driven expressions.

If I had chose a person I’d want as a neighbor, a fellow citizen, my decision would rest solely with the Muslim, rather than allow such a blunt-minded hypocrite to share my country with. This man repulses me to my core.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Adieu, Les Pommes Frites de la Liberté – Et Bonjour aux Pommes Frites “Françaises”

It was with little fanfare recently that the “Freedom Fries” at the cafeteria of Congress reverted to their more familiar name, “French Fries.” This marked the end of a curious era for the lovable potatoes, and settled a good amount of the identity problems they had been going through.

In all seriousness though, the whole Freedom/French Fry thing might be a broader signal of the change of politics we can only hope is coming to our nation’s capital. The changing of the name was ridiculous at best, giving many a chance to – rather than poke fun at the French – ridicule our Congress, who should have better things to do than to try to influence what people call their deep-fried potatoes. It was a rash act, one that has now been rectified.

But rash acts were a symbol of this administration for a long time, full of bravado and brash statements, and in the end very little content. The “war” in Afghanistan, which is still plodding along amongst rumors of increased Taliban activities, as well as enormously large opium crops (didn’t we wipe that out when we “won” the war in 2001/2002?) is only one example. The total list is beyond this server’s capacity to upload.

Along with these positions goes with the unilateral feeling of the administration, lampooning allies when they weren’t totally with us, while forging relationships with foreign powers we were soon to try and reverse (gee, that doesn’t sound familiar, does it? See: Taliban in Afghanistan, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and Osama bin Laden for more information). So, haraunge the French when they opposed our war in Iraq, but now we realize they might be crucial to any sort of peace talk in Lebanon, not to mention the Darfur region.

So perhaps we are seeing a more multi-lateral form of politics emerging, a spirit of contrition and willingness to work with others, rather than just stick it alone. That would be a big change in policy from our “decider” President. Talk about flip-flopping on issues. Fries are just the beginning.