Thursday, August 31, 2006

Thoughts on Iran

Yes, like Senor Ralph, I have taken some time away from blogging during the summer months. It's just too nice in Erie during the summer to sit inside and blog.

There is a lot happening (as always) and I'm ready to get started on a number of blog projects. I watched Mike Wallace's interview with the president of Iran the other day and the Iranian president strikes me as a thoughtful and reasonable guy. I rather liked him. He called for peaceful outcomes, he called for dialogue, he said he wants his people to prosper.

As far as I could tell, he wasn't Satan, but to hear it from the Bush Team, this guy is the devil himself. He is part of the "Axis of Evil." But he didn't strike me as an "evil" guy. He wasn't calling for the destruction of America (as some are in the region).

This is the same guy who recently sent a letter to Bush asking for a dialogue, and Bush wiped his ass with it. Now, we have Iran developing nuclear capability and WE DON'T EVEN HAVE A DIPLOMATIC CONNECTION TO IRAN. We aren't even talking to Iran...we haven't talked to Iran in 30 years. What kind of leadership is that? We need a leader who can rise above that kind of crap and bring some big ideas into play.

In truth, we need a leader who can unify the Arab world and the Western world. It will happen some day, but not under the current regime. Bush doesn't even talk about peace...ever.

What has happened to diplomacy? What's the harm in talking? Oh yes, Arabs are all evil. And talking to them would send the "wrong message." Huh? Talking is rhetoric and rhetoric has long been used to avert disaster. But Bush is not much of a rhetorician. He doesn't know the tricks. He doesn't have the magic. He just wants to shoot first and ask questions later. A child's strategy...

So, instead of NEGOTIATING and using DIPLOMACY to avert disaster, we just want to preserve our delusion that all Arabs are evil...all Arabs are fascists...all Arabs are the enemy of America. That enables us to kill them more rapidly and with greater fervor. God help our children. We are not giving them much to work with.

And make no mistake, we kill Arabs. Under the current rubric, we need to kill them before they kill us. So, I guess we should just get used to it. Kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out.

Carry on.


Bills Preview

Been away from the blog for awhile. We'll call it a summer shutdown. Anyway, weather is cooling down and I hope to begin increasing the frequency of my posts again. Here's an interesting preview of the upcoming Buffalo Bills season, for those interested. The analyst is pretty negative, but historically (at least over the past two years) has been pretty much on the money. I don't know what he was like when the Bills were good, but begrudgingly, I have to admit, he's made some good calls lately.


Monday, August 14, 2006

The Other Side

So, we've heard a lot of heroic stories out of the Katrina aftermath, but not everyone seems to be doing so well. This poor sucker is obviously having a hard time dealing with things. This sort of meltdown reminds me of someting that Chuck Klosterman wrote about reporters in his pop culture manifesto "Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs," which I recently finished reading. According to Klosterman, who used to work for the Akron Beacon-Journal, all news reporters eventually go crazy because they can never represent anything at face value and always have to look for the other side of the story. He gives the extreme example of a city passing stricter pedophelia laws, which almost everyone would agree with, including, most likely, the reporter. However, in the interest of "fair and balanced journalism," the reporter must try and find a contrary opinion, most likely from some lobbying group (People for Pedopheliacs?)who claims the new law is a violation of civil liberties. Thus, the reporter gets labled as being in the corner of child molesters, when actually he's not. According to Klosterman, this dual life that reporters lead, leads to insanity. And this Times-Picayune guy clearly went insane.
As a former newspaper report and current newsletter editor/publisher, I'd have to agree with Chuck K. I personally think we should go back to the days when newspapers were shameless political instruments that unabashedly supported issues and causes. It's not natural to write in a fair and balanced style - and still your filters are being used to describe what fair and balanced is - so how fair and balanced can it be. Stop the farce! People have opiions, let it out, go with it... and maybe we'll see less reporter meltdowns.



Friday, August 11, 2006

Browns' Town

I went down to Andy's Pub last night to catch the end of the Yankees game on ESPN. As it turned out there was an hour-and-a-half rain delay, so I would have caught a lot more than the end, I guess. By the way the Yankees lost 5-4 on another A-Rod throwing error. He's doing his best to turn into the next Steve Sax, Chuck Knoblauch, let's hope it doesn't happen. Anyways, that's not my point. My point is I didn't get to watch anyof the game because I walked into Andy's and was greeted by about 100 Browns fans and 50 TV sets, 47 of which were tuned to the Browns/Eagles preseason game. The other three had on the Rams/Colts game. There was no baseball to be had. This is Western PA and this is football country. I was half afraid that if I asked the bar tender to turn on the Yankees game on one small TV set above the bar, I'd get my face smashed in my some fellow in a Michael Dean Perry, or Bernie Kosar jersey. Yeah, the Browns stink, but people still love them. (Also, can you imagine two more diametically opposed franchises than the Browns and the Yankees? I had on a Yankees t-shirt and was kind of nervous I was going to get punched out just for that.) When I got there, it was like 20 to nothing (Eagles) with the scrubs in the game in the final two minutes - and, as I said, the place was packed. I can't even imagine what it looked like at kick-off. And this is the preseason!

I had one overpriced beer, watched the Browns third-string QB throw a PD pass against the Eagles' fourth-string D and walked home. It was a beautiful summer night for a walk - even if it's perpetually football season in these parts.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The beginning of the end

Man, it's really hot out. It feel like its 110 fuckin' degrees out? Why is that? Because it's only 88, you know. So, why does it feel so fuckin' hot? Are we getting soft because of air conditioning? I've really never heard so many people in my life complain about the heat... but it is fuckin' hot, as I said. I guess, it's the old saying that it's not the heat, it's the humidity... you know... but why is it so fucking humid then? I don't get it...

Cheers, I guess. I've got to head to a Little League game tonight. Be interesting to see how everyone makes out. I mean, it is baseball, a game designed to be played in the heat. Bascially, it involves a bunch of people standing around while on person throws a ball and another tries to hit it. Then you get brief spurts of running, when the ball is actually hit. But if it's too hot for baseball... than I don't know what to tell you.

I did used to love this country song they used to play. It's about a guy drinking at a bar (there's a new one) and it has these lines: "It's too hot for golf, it's too hot to fish, but it's much too cold at home."

And that's just the way it is sometime. Of course, then there's that Kink's song with the lines "...telling tales of drunkeness and cruelty" about a guy sitting broke in his backyard sipping a cold drink. So, it goes in this wonderful summer heat of Erie, PA 2006.