Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Tomorrow, you could wake up to..


Think the image is a little too.. glowy? .. to be real? Kinda look like a Viagra commercial? Well it's real. Google image search for "Barack Obama Rolling Stones cover". (No, you won't find anything Viagra-related, or at least I didn't..)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Is this a review or a political soap-box? (review of boxofficemojo review: Lions for Lambs)

I am flabbergasted by this review. Okay, I thought I was reading a review? This isn't a review. This is a political contention laced up as a review.

How sad. Not only are these opinions irrelevant to the film, and only relevant to a blatant political bias (and an apparent felt need to present it), they are presented without any qualification in a context where it would be expected they should be taken as unchallenged facts. But they are opinions. I should say they are opinions presented with rather forceful pedantry; which ironically seems to be Hollerand's only real criticism against the film for which he wrote his "review". If that's your only criticism Mr. Hollerand, you offer little in the way of alternatives with your own words.

But I gotta give Holleran this - I believe that in general he is on to something in his expressed opinions about people attacking George Lucas' right to modify his own art work - even as much as I don't like some of those modifications.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Senator Clinton: Fantasies, Demagougeries, and Lies (of late)

1. (This was a bit of a while back) Hillary proposes that every child should be gifted $5,000 on birth.

Oh, doesn't Hillary love children, shouldn't we love her?

That money would come from where?

If you love a kid, you leave as many resources as possible within the control of their parents. I hope that one plays against her - I can't imagine anyone wanting Hillary as their State Mommy.

In the article:
".. She argued that wealthy people "get to have all kinds of tax incentives to save, but most people can't afford to do that."
Okay, if that's true, how about opening up tax incentives (breaks) to more people in more ways? Does she really think people would prefer a tax over a break?

2. "Clinton called on Gallo-Chasanoff after her speech to ask a question: what Clinton would do to stop the effects of global warming. Clinton began her response by noting that young people often pose this question to her before delving into the benefits of her plan."

This was at a recent question-and-answer session after a speech by Clinton. Her campaign recently confessed the question was planted, or in other words one of her staff told a student in the crowd to ask the question. (Side note: the word "planted" has been mistakenly given in much of the media lately as "parsed")

Well, if it isn't obvious, that's basically deceptive: it creates the illusion that some student is interested in some point of her policy - where really the student isn't doing anything spontaneous: they've been told (intimidated by a campaign staffer?) to do so. It's like a friend buying a compilation of poems from poetry.com because their friend had a poem in it that "won" (was eligible for print because it resembles English and the poet paid for it to be published.) I always loved the nice feedback poetry.com sent out to potential subscribers who had submitted their own words: "Great Verse!" I wonder if they ever said "This verse needs work. We can't publish you." - how about it, Literature?

This is how the planted question to Clinton, and Clinton's answer, went down:
Question: "As a young person, I'm worried about the long-term effects of global warming. How does your plan combat climate change?

Clinton: "Well, you should be worried. You know, I find as I travel around Iowa that it's usually young people that ask me about global warming."
Wow. It's more than just the basic deception of planting the question as "spontaneous" that disturbs me about this (but that's basically deceptive). It's that Clinton pulled the feign to the highest possible level. Young people often ask you that question, Clinton? Young people are often concerned about that? Then why do you feel a need to compel them to ask it?

You know, I often find that young people intimidated by domineering power will say anything I want them to. Or, on the other hand, sometimes they'll just play "pretend" with me to get me my way.

Woohoo! Clinton's pretention. Down with that.

I'm aware this is a character attack. Well.. it's demonstrable bad character. What are Clinton's actual policies, and what do I think of them? She's into the Death Star is Approaching Planet Earth global warming nonsense. There are other substantial environmental concerns (like the oil supply that I've read we may dry up in the next generation). This global warming scaremongering is all bunk: here is an article by Orson Scott Card (I like his words! A lot!) on the topic. I found it flabbergasting and alarming - and it pretty much settled my mind against the notion of humans causing a warm-up of the earth as a joke.

There's also this that he wrote on related matters.

Mark my word: if the human race lives on this planet for more than a few hundred years before the end, Al Gore will go down as a fool. It's incredible in the face of this that he (with his global warming alarmist documentary - "A Fear-mongering Contrivance" - oh wait, is that what it's called?) won the Nobel Peace Prize this year.

3. "Former President Clinton said Monday his wife can handle the criticism from her presidential rivals even though "those boys have been getting tough on her lately." "

Oh, those good ol' boys. God love em' there just so mean and wrong. (Well, maybe they aren't. Oh, except when they are pointing out Hillary's lies and low tactics.)
"Clinton's comment comes amid debate as to whether the Hillary Rodham Clinton campaign's complaints about her rivals' "piling on" suggest the criticism is directed at the lone woman in the presidential race or the Democratic front-runner."
If you could even parse (as opposed to plant) that sentence (it was hard for me), he's saying they're attacking her campaign because she is a she. Well, that's logical. Not. So.. some folks point out that Hillary has been basically deceptive, and they're attacking her gender? No, they're pointing out she's basically deceived (please read this as either applying to herself or her actions toward others.) Planted questions are some of the criticisms and proof of bad character railed against her recently. As was noted, and I'll detail the matter gratuitously again: planted question equals misleading: oh, here is a person volunteering me a question. No, I didn't tell them to ask it! Come on. Accusing others (basically) of chauvinism when they point out a lie is.. I don't know. Does it need even to be disproved as illogical? It is simply fear-mongering. If you are against our campaign, you're against women, you're a chauvinist. Whatever. More demagoguery. It's pretty plain what is said in the accusations themselves: they rail against dishonesty. I dunno about you, but I like my potential presidents nice and honest. So take Hillary. Away. From the race. Please.

The Ground Realities in Iraq (Michael Yon's reports)

Micheal Yon is in Iraq, alongside American troops in operation, observing what happens and noting the stark contrast between what is actually going on (re: whether some regions are gaining peace and independence) and what most of the media in America is saying (that they are not). They wouldn't know. Or if they do, they either pay no attention to or deliberately ignore the fact, as Yon explores in this article. Why so many in our media seem to wish fantasies of American failure into seeming existence is baffling.

Also brought to my attention is his article about evidence that Al-Qauda slaughtered an entire village in Afghanistan, a story which most news media have all but ignored.

Friday, February 02, 2007

War Essays

Here is a loose abridgement of a new essay by Orson Scott Card at Ornery.org, about the Iraq war. However, I strongly recommend the whole essay. I also strongly recommend this earlier essay of his and also this (which is after the earlier). I think these are all very punchy, lucid, incisive, and accurate. Of the first mentioned I'm pulling two lovely sections out of the middle and end, and placing them first; only the first bolded paragraph is my emphasis; the rest is his.

I'm a Democrat.. The kind that places the interest of the American people and, yes, of the world at large over the temporary political advantage that can be derived from attacking a President in wartime.

So when I watch Democratic leaders completely ignore the security interests of the United States in order to engage in cheap sloganeering ("bring our boys home!") and demagoguery, I am filled with shame and rage.

Are they really so completely ignorant of history that they do not realize the golden opportunity we have, and the disastrous consequences of not seizing it?


make copies of this essay and the words of others who stand with President Bush in pursuit of victory, and give it to everyone you know -- especially those who are most adamant in their opposition to the war. Ask them, "Have you thought about this?"

Of course, I know the answers some will give. They'll treat it like a high school debate. Instead of answering the big issues -- what will happen to the world economy when Islamo-fascists control the Persian Gulf, for instance, or how we will respond when a united Islamo-fascist army starts murdering all the men, women, and children in Israel, or what we will do when the Islamo-fascists hiding among the Muslim immigrants in Europe call for violent revolution in France, in the Netherlands, in Britain -- they will focus on narrow, foolish, no-longer-relevant issues, like whether Bush "lied," or whether we should have gotten involved in Iraq in the first place.

Like the man who came to a recent book-signing of mine in Greensboro, trying to pick a quarrel with me. When I said, "Nobody knew that Iraq did not have a nuclear program," his answer was, "Hans Blick did."

He was wrong in his facts: Hans Blick didn't know. Because he and his team of inspectors had not been allowed free access to anyone or anything that would have given them knowledge. He had an opinion, which at this moment seems to have turned out to be correct. But President Bush could hardly have been expected to base our future security on Blick's unsupported opinion, when all the credible, impartial evidence available to him said that Iraq had nukes.

But he was even more wrong even to raise the issue. Today, in 2007, what does it matter whether we should or should not have invaded Iraq? The fact is that we did! What matters now is that the consequences of leaving without victory (i.e., surrendering Iraq to our enemies) would be devastating and global, while the cost of staying and pursuing victory is, compared to other wars at such a scale, amazing cheap in both life and money.

[My comment here: that last contrast never works when talking to pacifists. What it costs doesn't matter. World War II cost much, much more, but was worth it. Any cost is worth defending liberty (read: life) at home or abroad.]

Such foolish, time-wasting arguments would base foreign policy on quibbles instead of either principles or practical consequences. The issue is not what we should have done before, but what we can and must do now.

.. It's time for us, the ordinary citizens, to speak up, to vocally declare our loyalty to our side in this war, and force the opponents of the war to answer the real questions -- or stop getting in the way of victory.

When the Democrats come to believe that opposition to President Bush's conduct of this war will lead to their resounding defeat at the polls in 2008, you can be sure that they will immediately provide the most supportive of Congresses. It really is, ultimately, up to us, whether we win or lose this war.


If the Iraqi military does its job (for we know our soldiers will perform splendidly), this new strategy has a very good likelihood of success.


The moment the Democrats won [control of congress], however, their "beliefs" seemed to change overnight.

No longer was the claim that we needed "more boots on the ground" even remotely interesting to them. They demand the opposite -- get the soldiers home.

No longer was the Iraq Study Group worth paying attention to -- the Democrats control Congress, so no longer does it matter that the ISG report declared that failure in Iraq would be a disaster for the United States.


Some of the information on which their votes were based turned out not to be true -- but all decisions of Congress and the President are based on incomplete and partially inaccurate information. Despite years of vile accusations, there is no evidence of deliberate disinformation from President Bush.

Yet even if President Bush lied constantly, and even if this war was completely misguided and inappropriate at its inception, the cost of leaving Iraq without complete, unequivocal victory is far higher than the cost of staying.


In Iraq, like Vietnam, cowardly and dishonorable withdrawal by the United States will result in a bloodbath. Anyone who supported us and the cause of Iraqi democracy will be dead in short order. No reeducation camps -- fanatical Islam doesn't have a doctrine of redemption, just of execution.

Withdrawal from Iraq will without doubt vastly increase the prestige, power, and recruiting ability of our enemies.. No outcome of that struggle has the slightest chance of working to our benefit. In fact, we would almost certainly be forced to intervene, and with far more casualties than we could possibly suffer through ten more years of the present struggle in Iraq.

Our departure from Iraq, without leaving behind a strong and viable democratic government committed to fighting terrorism, will lead immediately to all the secular governments in the region making their peace with Islamofascists -- or being overthrown by them. They will have no alternative, once the United States is revealed as having no will to resist the terrorists.


Our departure from Iraq, without leaving behind a strong and viable democratic government committed to fighting terrorism, will lead immediately to all the secular governments in the region making their peace with Islamofascists -- or being overthrown by them. They will have no alternative, once the United States is revealed as having no will to resist the terrorists.


After 9/11 made it clear that hand-wringing and a few cruise missiles were not enough to stop.. Al Qaeda and other Islamic terrorist groups.. The nations supporting terrorism did not yet have the capability to unify Islam and challenge the survival of the West.

So President Bush did the right thing; even if some of the steps along the way were mistaken, it was vital that we act boldly and visibly.

His policies were immediately effective in the changed behavior of most terror-sponsoring states.

However, years of vocal and increasingly effective Democratic anti-Bush propaganda, designed to achieve no higher purpose than the political defeat of George W. Bush, have emboldened our enemies everywhere. Democratic Bush-haters can claim that Bush has lowered our prestige in the world, but the opposite is true. Where it counts -- among those nations that support terrorism -- Bush vastly raised our prestige, and the Democrats have shockingly lowered it.

The result is that nations that for a while were cowed by Bush's boldness are once again sponsoring terrorism -- as witness Sudan's revived genocidal policies in Darfur. Ironically, the American and European Left are highly critical of Bush for not "doing something" about Darfur. No one has the brains or the courage to admit that the only "something" that would be effective is the military defeat of the Sudanese government.

The Left always wants someone to "do something," but never wants to do anything that works. And never wants to admit that President George W. Bush has ever done anything right.

Well, he has; and the Democrats right now are doing something dangerously wrong. Every word they say strengthens and encourages our enemies, while discouraging and weakening our friends and allies in the Middle East. They are the best weapon Al Qaeda and the murderous Iranian and Syrian governments have against us. Every time they open their mouths in their misleading and deceptive attacks on Bush and demands for unilateral withdrawal from Iraq, they are helping ensure the future deaths of Americans and others, at home and abroad.

It is one thing to raise legitimate questions about how a war is being waged. It is quite another thing to agitate openly for surrender to an enemy that will not accept our surrender, but will, scenting victory, continue to murder Americans wherever they can.


if the anti-war Democrats succeed in blocking President Bush now, if they prevent him from removing Syria and Iran as threats to world peace and the world economy and, most particularly, threats to American safety and Western democracy, then that party will bear all the blame and all the shame for the disaster they caused.

As I said earlier, I also strongly recommend this essay and also this.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Review: "The Audacity of Hope", by Barack Obama

I haven't actually read this book, but I'd just like to say that Barack Obama reminds me a lot of Abraham Lincoln. Like Lincoln, his daring to hope stands out really differently from a country with too many religious zealots, and I think it is very wise and noble to dare, as this book title says he does, dare to hope. Well, anyway, it's audacious, which is a lot like daring, and hope is so audacious in a country so full of religious doom and gloom. I mean, what hope does religion offer, anyway? Be good or you'll go to hell? Some motivation. But anyway, he is also black, which reminds me, although indirectly, of Abraham Lincoln. And like Lincoln, he also has a checkered past, although he has probably had to confront the fact that he is black, but anyway, I think that if Lincoln had a checkered past, and so does Barack Obama, we should take more risks on people with checkered pasts.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Al Zarqawi and the ghost story teller

[News as of yesterday, I know] Al-Zarqawi, the most prominent terrorist insurgency leader in Iraq, has been killed by US forces who tracked him down with the assistance of tips and information from Iraqi civilians. News of a high-level meeting between him and Al-Qaeda officials tipped off his possible presence in the area and US forces bombed his location and then verified his presence from his remains.

This is very good.

But naturally, we will have press cynics sneering upon the news and pretending that all US citizens likewise do so, playing down the actions that led to the destruction of the most wanted terrorist in Iraq as merely this-or-that unintelligent thing; one correspondent effusively urging viewers to trust him on this (that link is only liked by Internet Explorer 7 and Windows Media Player, I think).

Trust him on this? Who the blink is this TV correspondent that he should be trusted over the military claims? That question aside, his prattle is certainly a distraction from the point that the US is doing some seriously damn nasty business against terrorists and apparently winning. But let us follow this lead-away anyway; following Al-Zarqawis' spiritual advisor is no discredit to the method of finding Zarqawi, it's a logical way to find him. And checking the corpses is no discredit to the certainty of the intelligence which led to his death either; it's simply validating it. Remember learning to multiply a division quotient by the divisor and making sure it matched the dividend, to see if the quotient is correct? Bingo. But this fellow would apparently be happier if they did not check the quotient. Although it may appear that what has been divided would in reverse be regarded as Admiral Akbar's legs times Darth Maul's torso (wait a minute, shouldn't that be addition and not multiplication?), it will be clear to us without checking that these legs times this torso are in fact Al-Zarqawi.

And back to the trust question: was this correspondent there in the operational procedures when they were gathering the intelligence? Have his military sources told him they didn't collaborate with civilians? And their supposed non-collaboration with other military units is a separate question from whether they rely on civilian tips and information, which logically they would, but that he never even addresses that question makes me wonder whether he doesn't know or doesn't care. There's no reason in his arguments, and in all seriousness I all-encompassingly declare that there is no evidence to suggest anyone should really trust him, either. I trust military leaders to dispense accurate information on their activities when it is in their security interest to do so; I more or less rely on liberal press to spin information into illogical and drastically unsupported conclusions often without a shred of evidence. The implicit assumption of his urging viewers to trust him says viewers should not trust the military, that he has better information then them, that they are unknowledgable and untrustworthy while he, the couch critic of the war, is more knowledgeable about the operation than the military and he is to be trusted over them. He's another "don't trust the military" guy preaching to the choir of liberal press, and his smug smirk when the anchor introduced his challenge to the military sickened me. It's even worse than this though; the implicit assumption that he should be trusted over what the military says has an even worse assumption behind it which is never even mentioned, it is so glibly taken: if the military is not to be trusted because, as this correspondent claims, contrary to their claim they did not rely on civilian intelligence sources, it must be that his military sources (whom he does not mention) lied. This fellow is founding his claims as if self-evident on a ground doctrine (yet taken completely for granted) that his sources lied - sources he does not give. Well, that's a dandy believable ghost story, isn't it? What we have here is conspiracy theory gone mainstream.

Of course, I'm giving that this reporter actually has valid military sources on this, since he doesn't mention them. And if he really does have such sources, I'm also giving that they are telling the truth and he is disbelieving them as a rule, as his offered reasons for going against them are not provided. Not one speck.

List your sources and believe what they say, unless you have some very substantive reasons to go to the contrary. That's the kind of reporting I believe, not this liberal ghost story.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Wrong prediction. Some books.

So that last prediction was a bust.

I'm trying not to blog much lately (you can tell, if anyone is even here). Politics is so all-or-nothing for me - there is way too flipping much of it.

But here are some titles I read and looked through that were great.

Weapons of Mass Distortion, uncovering liberal bias in news. The updated edition addends events that have happened since first publication which follow the pattern it predicted, and also rebuts some ignorant liberal rebuttals since it's publication (from Al Franken, for example). Here's a counter-book.

DISINFORMATION. Read this. This very detailed often on-site investigative journalist explodes a dozen liberal anti-war myths which nonetheless hammer unendingly through the media.

HELL TO PAY. Won't make you like Hillary's game one red cent.

Who's Looking Out For You? - O'Reilly's answer: not many of the big-time folks, and he exposes many of the politicians. Main point I got from it: if you can't name many people who would bleed for you, your life will suffer. Ditto if you're not going to work and sacrifice for yourself and others.

I read some other entertaining book on Bush I don't remember the title of, but it poked a lot of fun at prattling liberalism and praised Bush for marching to his own drum - even against his father's legacy; and it tears apart the myth that Bush went into Iraq for reasons of repairing family dignity.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Hilla Monster

I just LOVE you people! I can't wait to CHEW YOUR FACE OFF!

(from here)

re: Open Debate (on genocide)

[This is continuing a debate I engaged in at the blog for the documentary film makers of This Divided State.]

If war is antithetical to Christ the Revolutionary War which gave the US our independence had no Christians in it - because the whole of them would have had to deny their faith to join the war. Unless you believe that they are absolved from the sin of participating in the war because it was the action of a government and the sins weren't on the heads of the soldiers. But myself, I believe God strengthened the Revolutionaries to claim their independence (and my religion, LDS, makes that claim), and I believe the line in the Declaration of Independence about "..a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence" had a great deal to do with that.

I noted with great anxiety the politically very far to the right soldier from Utah in your documentary, who connected extreme conservativism in Utah with religion in Utah. Such people do not properly see that the founding fathers also specifically forbad promoting any specific religion, while being either ambivalent or encouraging of religion in general - and God or the Divine is a general philosophy, not a specific religion. Although the post at this forum seems to have been deleted, I recall Steven describing this extremist's union of church and state as "brilliant". Where extreme conservatives in Utah try to make such mergers, they go against their church's specific disavowal of affiliation with any politic (while encouraging people to exercise their political and civic duty to their best judgement). It is particularly disturbing that this distortion was presented by a person active in the military, thus falsely symbolizing a merger of church, state, and military in Utah. That reverses everything and is one step away from calling the U.S. military a religious terrorist arm - completely reversing positions and making America the enemy. If that spin is used as propoganda in other nations, it is no wonder the film has success in nations with anti-American political sentiments. And I find it very disturbing that This Divided State is being so well recieved in a nation with politics predomenantly very far on the left, and that the interest in the film is political. I look at the film and see many extremely foolish stances taken on the left and right, and here at this blog you present all your heavily left-leaning propaganda. You have very little idea what film you actually have on your hands.

The clarification standing that the church, state, and military are not all the same thing in Utah (and it's just outrageous that this needs to be clarified), it is also the case that mainstream Muslim and Palestinian religious leaders decry militant extremists who profess what they do in the name of religion. Where your film presents this idea only one step away from calling the US military terrorist, it represents the US military (and religion in Utah) only as much as terrorists represent Islam and Palestine: which is to say, not at all.

If we can here stand on the ground of saying that mormons are Christians (and if we can't, there is no place for debate here, because to say they aren't is very false), there is a premise for war to defend life and liberty in the Book of Mormon - where captain Moroni rallies the Nephites to defend themselves from an invading Lamanite army by writing a standard on a rent garment, turned into a flag: "In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children."

[Note: the way I apply that idea to the Iraq war is my personal opinion only and does not represent my church. I'm exercizing the civic duty to engage politically in my best judgement as my religion asks me to.]

You say that morals are relative. If morals (all morals) are relative, it is because none of them are fixed and absolute. Some say absolutely that no morals are absolute, but in saying this absolutely they contradict the premise by holding it absolute. I don't know if you are such - I think not because you claim to value life. But I challenge how much you really value it.. If any moral is absolute and fixed, any moral that goes against it must fall as inabsolute. If there are some morals that are relative, it becomes a matter of which moral you choose to value above another. And to reiterate my thesis against your utterances - and here build it further off of what you say - you value American life above other life on this planet, despite all you say seeming to indicate to the contrary.

The left has very few or no absolute principles or morals to which they hold. The left tends to revere the ability to change morals by writing them into law more than they do any assent to any absolute moral (such as the absolute morals often claimed by religions). It is no wonder that the further left you get the easier it becomes to antagonize (or misrepresent as Steven's utterances have) religion, which asserts absolute morals.

You seem truly not to grasp how the religiously supported idea of defending life by war can (and in my opinion does) apply to the Iraq situation. You say by the most conservative estimates the United States has killed hundreds of thousand of Iraqis. Please describe to me who these Iraqis were. Were they soldiers in Saddam's army, or were they innocent civilians? I know that the US Army walloped Saddam's forces on invasion. Well, yeah. It's war. And those are soldiers - certainly recruited civilians, but soldiers - not just civilians. That is an amazing distortion. Completely glossing over a huge point as is so common in liberal thinking.

The United States HAS SAVED IRAQIS AND POTENTIALLY AMERICANS from the threat Saddam continued to pose long after HE slaughtered at least 100,000 Iraqis during his reign of terror - in genocide. Your claim of America slaughtering hundreds of thousands of Iraqis is severly misleading. They were armies which Saddam pulled out (probably forced many of them - our troops volunteer) to defend his regime that had the blood of the innocent on its hands and which could very well continue to claim the innocent - as he occasionally did by assasinating people in his country opposed to him. The only way your claim stands in the semantic of civilians in which you state it is if you say that Saddam's army was defending an innocent cause. Which would be total rubbish. It is you who have taken things completely out of context, not I.

A war does not have to initially improve the status quo to be justified. If Saddam had "only" ever killed 50,000 Kurdish civilians, and the U.S. had to knock down an army of two million Iraqi soldiers compelled by Saddam to defend him, and the U.S. lost three million soldiers in the process before the war ended and he was removed from power, the war would be justified. It is not numbers that matter but principle. No matter the cost, it is worth it to defend the life of the innocents from genocide.

It is ludicrous to say we have created terrorists. This is the amazing, preposterous, truly insane lack of reality which many liberals have. TERRORISTS SEEK TO DESTROY THE INNOCENT NO MATTER WHAT WE DO. We neither created them nor can we stop them - unless we destroy them. To buy into any claimed right from a person who destroys life is to sympathize with them and permit them to continue destroying it. Yes, people suffer in a war to defend life, and unfortunately many of the innocent get caught and destroyed in the conflict. But when it is over, the innocent will no longer need to fear. And I fear, I greatly fear, that unless bleeding-mind lack of reality from the far to many folks of your pursausion stops, that the innocent worldwide will continue to have great reason to fear.

You say:

I might be anti-war but I'm also anti-genocide. If genocide is actually happening on an active and consistent basis (as it is in Darfur) then we need to react swiftly to fix the problem.

If to you fixing the problem means sanctions, I think that is not enough. The international community agreed on the growing danger of Saddam (until someone actually did something about it, and then too many turned cowardly), and Saddam violated 13 UN resolutions against him in the midst of our "fixing the problem". You now say that in Darfur we ignore the problem. I wrote Senator Hatch about it who informed me (this was some time ago, and I wish I still knew the situation) that negotiations and sanctions was changing it. That's the same as the typical liberal idea of "fixing" a tyrant (as if that murderous rage can just be castrated or something). You say the Darfur region is not sitting on a bed of oil. In fact it is. It's one of the much larger oil reserves in the world and the Khartoum slaughtered and drove peasants off of oil fields. In 2001 Chinese "security guards" in the Khartoum operation engaged in military operations against unarmed villagers in the south. That article also reports on a Canadian oil company's involvement with Sudan oil traffic to India, as does this excellent article, which also details the Khartoum brutalities. This, this, this, and this article - they all give information on India trafficking and selling Oil from Sudan. If the United States was looking for oil to gobble up militarily, Sudan would be a ten times easier target than Iraq. But the US isn't. The US is interested in defending it's own soil and liberating the Iraqis from a genocidal dictator who demonstrably has terrorist sympathizers who have now come out to defend his cause of brutal and trully terrorist reign. And GENOCIDE DID OCCUR IN IRAQ UNDER SADDAM'S HAND. Listen to this broadcast interview with Peter Galbraith, a US Senator who spent a lot of time among the Kurds. I linked it earler - did you listen to it? Here it is again. Do you do research to support your claims or just listen to the next mindlessly hyperbolic context-eliminating liberal? If you've heard the report, offer your arguments against it. Peter Galbraith's case is irrefutable - in Iraq, it was genocide. You say "if genocide is actually happening.." - genocide actually WAS happening in Iraq. You seem to have missed the fact. Republican leaders don't "connect" anything to terrorists that is not fact or "invoke" it to "make people unsafe and keep them voting Republican". They observe actual dangers, threats, and brutalities that exist in the world and connect their compassion to measures that will actually work, if they require sacrifice. Folks like yourself do not grasp the reality of the dangers and threats, and worse you play into the sympathy or apathy which tyrants and terrorists need in order to continue to exist in the world. No tyrant or terrorist is removed without sacrifice. Commit yourself to the cause. I myself would like to know if the Khartoum continues brutalities in Sudan or whether the Khartoum still exists. Its outrageous that the news doesn't make such questions front page news and that I have to search for it. At least I can. Thank God for the internet. If Khartoum brutalities continue, I actually agree it's hypocritical - or perhaps unevenly commited to defending human life - to not militarily intervene there.

If you value human life equally in all nations, I think this is the approach to take. No toleration of genocide anywhere - and the facts are against your case. Your denial of the facts and severe twist on reality demerit the principle of right to life which you claim to support equally in all cases. You have made the absolute principle of right to life relative - you are a relativist on the issue of life and either cry against our military losses or twist terrorist losses into U.S. slaughter of "Iraqis". Those terrorists are not Iraqis. They are brutal and supressing monsters who have no place on this earth. When the victory is complete (if folks like you don't get in the way of the cause), and the terrorists are all rooted out of Iraq and/or the Iraqis can stand to defend themsevles (one of you them thar liberals implied they could.. no way, not under Saddam - and they deserve our help either way), the U.S. will leave.

No one will argue that civilians of other nations have less right to life than United States citizens. Then it behooves us to support every cause of defending life on equal ground - and raise up against tyrants like Saddam and his terrorist supporters the bloody ground they soiled in the undeniable slaughter of innocents whom we previously failed to defend.

[I had said comments here are closed but I mistook - and I leave them open]

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Devaluation of life and misdirection

I tried to post these comments to someone else's blog, but couldn't get through. Maybe it's a sign not to argue with them on their turf. So I'll just post it here. This was in response to this entry and it's comments:

bryan said:

Well, then does that mean we're also guilty of the genocide of the Iraq people?

Not any more than we are responsible for the death of millions of Jews in World War II. You make the call.

..since when did two wrongs make a right?

Since our nation was founded by warring against Brits for our independence. But that idea is misleading. When a tyrant murders, the tyrant has forfeited his right to life - or citizens and governments have the right to end his life to prevent the threat he poses to other lives.

Punishing a child for breaking a window is no comparison to punishing a tyrant for murdering civilians. To really even compare the two you have gone far off the deep end. Honestly. Comparing murdered civilians to a broken window? Poor allegory at best. A window is dead. A civilian is alive. Or these ones were. You don't care.

And if we needed to punish Sadamm so bad, why didn't we do it when he actually killed the Kurds?

We should have.

Your last paragraph there distracts from the point I made. You are focusing on the Iraqi lives that have been negatively affected by the US invasion (guess what? In any fight for freedom, people get hurt). The sufferings you list are far, far less than the hundreds of thousands Saddam Killed. But ultimately, it wouldn't have mattered if Saddam retaliated against his civilians when we invaded - because when we were done ousting him, he wouldn't have any opportunity to do it more, and since none can prove whether he would or would not have turned against his civilians again in any circumstance, the reality of the risk he posed should be acknowledged - and we should all be all for ousting him and getting Iraq the freedoms they deserve and the self-governance that every nation needs. Saddam didn't govern. He brutalized.

green jenni said:

If we are going to kill thousands and thousands of people to punish a guy, we're not any better.

Misleading in the same way bryan's last paragraph was.

If we're going to punish evil dictators that are killing their own people we have a lot of work to do, but I don't see Georgie boy going after anyone other than Saddam and Osama.

It does not matter how much work it takes to defend innocent people from genocide. No matter what it takes on our part, and even if it requires risking our own lives, it is worth it, it is RIGHT - it is wrong to shirk from it. After World War II the UN signed a convention to prevent and punish genocide. So much for that! The world didn't follow its resolve, and its learing the same lessons again - except that too many aren't.

If we are going to punish evil dictators that are killing their own people, we better stop putting them in power over the democratically elected leaders -- can you say Pinochet?

I'm unfamiliar with Pinochet. However, not putting dictators in power sounds like a good idea - if misleading I think.. some would argue the U.S. "put" Saddam in power, but if that's a bad idea, then let's throw down the tyrant!

Why not punish the evil dictators that kill their own people when they are doing it? Why reward them and build alliances and then 20 years after the fact come after them to punish?

Also good ideas - let's do the former and not do the latter. You must realize you are actually providing the very answers I think sound good. We should have gotten rid of Saddam long ago - and he never should have come to power. At this point I became so confused by the similarity of your rhetoric to bryans that I actually had to double-check that I was talking to different people.

Sounds nice, but doesn't make it through careful scrutiny.

Your scrutiny is glibly uncareful.

Again, your closing paragraph misleads in the same way bryan's did - focusing on the far less damage we have caused preventing Saddam from any further of the far more damage he caused. Defending the life of a peasant in another land from a tyrant (and the terrorists who have flocked to the state proving they had an affinity and vested interest in Saddam's machinations) is courage. Complaining about what we have lost doing so is cowardice. It's a noble cause. Your misdirected attentions detract from that.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

New NBA dress code

The new NBA Business Casual dress code has many players (particularly black players) fussing that it is racist. A Sports Illustrated writer chipped in with this assertion in a magazine article. Many of the players who are fussing are well known for dressing in baggy pants, chains, and such on the job. To say it is racist is ludicrous. Such clothing emerged in black gangs and was then marketed and flaunted by gangster rappers. It is a symbol of the civil insurrection and street violence of gangs, and black gangster rappers have specifically and deliberately associated it with black gangs to glorify a delusion of justice by murder for what whites put their ancestors through. But the journey of your ancestors for justice is over, folks. The Civil Rights Movement at last abolished the last fringes of inequality just a few decades ago. It's the deluded Left who keeps you hallucinating that your people are still victims. You are victims of racism from individuals in many cases, but legally you at last have full equality and the legal rights of justice - and because of the Left you actually have, as it were, more equality in many cases than whites. Asking for the clothing to be changed is not racist. The clothing is a symbol of rebellios vindictiveness which some blacks by abuse have deliberately and specifically associated with blacks. It's ironic for black people to wear such clothing because they paint themselves the very animal that racist whites regard them as. Which I suppose is useful to some black people who take to the victimizaion stance and demand more of others for their supposedly helpless position. Such helplessness as in the multi million dollar salaries of the black NBA stars who dress in that garbage. What I am getting at is that blacks can "make it" in this country and live an upright, noble, and prosperous life like anyone can - if they don't buy into the Left's delusion that blacks remain victims of the United States, and instead do the right thing: be independent, buck up and take responsibility and do something. But regarding again the clothing as a symbol of violence, the cause of your liberation culminating in the end of public segregation was never achieved through violence, besides. Martin Luther King Jr. organized a peace march, remember.

But who in tarnation is a Sports Illustrated writer to say a dress code is racist? His people make the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and market it to men who buy into the delusion that it's not pornographic. Pornography is intent, not technicality of disclosure. There is no argument that the Swimsuit Issue is not designed to arouse lust. This writer who says the NBA dress code is racist is in with the folks who say women flaunting themselves in next to nothing is not pornography. You can rule out his judgement as scantily clad.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

A Book of Mormon Film

I can say this: I like the art. A lot. This project apparently died with investor fears after the most presumptiously titled THE Book of Mormon Movie. And of that movie (which I emphasise was a separate project from that link) - truly, was it THE one and only Book of Mormon movie? Can there only be one? Because if there could only be one, would that not have been IT? And if IT was and must be the only one, must it also, like God, be the one and only True Film?

I hope there will be many Book of Mormon films and many different lines of those films.

If they had changed "The" in the title to "A", would the whole thing have flown? If they had the mind to observe and change that problem they'd have observed and changed a lot of other problems - it would be an entirely different film. For example we would not persist in this virtual worship of Arnold Freburg's art. I like Freburg's work, but not all of it, and it isn't the end all to begin all. Can we get BEYOND Freburg?

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Robot Feelings

All your Hollywood cars and all your Hollywood women have large, plastic bumpers. There are also exotic coverings for both - have you seen those fancy leather bras for cars? I always think it's very exciting when I see an owner taking one off for a car wash. But do we really protect our actresses and cars with these? No, we send both of them into high speed chases, and the coverings, besides not really being coverings, always come off. Then we are talking about full on, bare-bumper collisions.

That we think of our machines as attractive people (usually women) is especially apparent in our comics with huge humanoid robots. Someday we'll really have these, and then we'll really need those plastic bumpers. Which raises a question: if we think of robots as women, don't we also think of women as robots? I think the folks who made Baywatch have made up their minds, and I'm warning my children not to waste time with dirty robots. They'll understand when the real robots show up, them and their robotica.

At the same time, we should respect these hopelessly dirty, pathetic, mindless robots, and allow them every privelege they deserve. I am very upset by the term "robo", disparaging of homosexual robots. It shows an emerging "us vs. the robots", mentality, and I don't at all doubt that robots, like so many other oppressed people, will have a long fight against robot inequality. Clearly, robots need full citizenship like the rest of us, which is why I support the following quoted constitutional amendment for robots.


Section 1. All robots created, manufactured, imported, or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of robots of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any robot of programming, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any robot within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 2. Rights of citizens of the United States shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of manufacture, programming, program release or revision date, or date of manufacture.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Meridian on Mobsters and Mormons

This Meridian review of Mobsters and Mormons was right, I thought, except it didn't take it far enough. It says the film's criticism of Mormon culture went "a bit too far" - but I thought the film went way too far! It presents Mormons as going to great measures to avoid contact with outsiders! Okay, some of the Mormons include the Mobsters, but the ones that don't - that just doesn't happen in Mormondom. That is a completely incorrect depiction - Mormons are the most inclusive people and embrace everyone and everything, so you should not see this movie, and you should make sure no one else sees it, either!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Right undertakes subliminal blitz campaign

I have learned from a source beyond reproof that a secret commitee has been called by executive order to intercept media before publication and insert subliminal messages: images in films, cyphers in text media, and sub-aural screams and dialogues in radio and music. My informant passed many of these messages along to me - they are reassuring, and some of them follow.



Listen up, stinko-man: if all your absolutes are belong to Sith, why are Jedi make absolute saying this absolute? Jedi say all Sith must die - so absolute! Why Jedi say absolutes bad? If so then all your everything are bad, because Obi-Wan say absolute bad but make absolute self him say by saying!! This Lucas never say!! Maybe Jedi bad for Lucas? When Yoda say: "Maybe we understand all prophecy wrong." Lucas, what you are saying! Is Lucas not see absolutes of Obi-Wan? If absolute make Anakin bad like robot, why not Obi-Wan if bad absolute like Sith then bad like robot, too? Why Vader fight like robot all evil, and Obi-Wan fight like man all good? Are Lucas want fight like good man or like evil robot?? If bad Vader say all your good are all evil and Vader destroy all good, and good Obi-Wan say all your evil are all evil but not destroy all evil, when is good win over evil? Good let evil kill all good forever end of time and then blink and fuzzy happy bye-bye but forgive??!! And still, why Obi-Wan not see self-same absolutes then think himself bad? If all your absolute are no absolute what are your absolute? Every absolute! And if every absolute all your absolute, Obi-Wan do everything what everyone say and not destroy evil, Obi-Wan programmed, Obi-Wan is robot, not Vader! Vader think by self against what others say, and Obi-Wan think by what everyone say! Vader not robot but thinking all by self, whatever others say, but Lucas say Vader all bad robot! Then Lucas say Vader sometime future good, while Obi-Wan maybe sometime good but not destroy bad unless Luke child of immaculate robot-child make all good by programing father Vader robot not to be robot? If Obi-Wan robot make highest hero for Lucas, is Lucas say that all your non-absolute every good like program all everyone for everything? Then everyone all program everyone and all absolutes again like making nothing where all your absolutes are absolute against themselves! That why all people make everything but not do anything, so no one say destory evil like good men and not like robot who not fight when people say no war? What are you think is message, Artoo??!!






And so on..

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Lawmakers soon to decide whether Mother Nature is racist

"The issue is not about race right now," said Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-Ohio. "There will be another time to have issues about color."

If you don't have an identity of suffering, you are not black. Therefore, I am black.

But seriously.. the assertion that relief was slow to come to some victims because they are black and poor! This is a statement of utterly unreasoned hatred. It is creating and playing up enmity to garner power with many who have been well trained by this lot to view themselves as victims. It is shameless, despicable demagoguery, and it tears at the fabric of the United States. These are not representing America, they are dividing it with a shabby, hate-shodden content of character. So long as we go with this kind of representation - no, we can't all just get along.

This is the situation. The expanse of America is huge. Huge. And this disaster obliterated entire cities along all of our southern sea and more. And if enough food and personell to support exiles of a destroyed metropolis and more isn't transported across our entire nation in three days, somebody is racist? To say so is a more than monumental missapropriation of cause - the failure of the grasp of reality - may I say stupidity? - is unquantifiable.

As Orson Scott Card wisely observes, the disaster was prepared for as much as we thought it ought to be, and we were wrong. Twenty-twenty hindsight is easy, foresight isn't, and the kind of foresight we so often demand is not really a request for leadership so much as Godhood.

Also, these legislators contradict themselves on the "charge" of racism, and really they are making the charge. Their complaint is that supplies are moving slowly because the relief subjects are black; that the exiles are being ignored because they are black. The intended inference is glaringly loud: that America (and really the executive branch of it - FEMA and Bush) hates blacks! They don't care if they die! Pathetic. At the same time, they deny this message - "There will be another time to have issues about color". And this statement of denial is still further absurd - so you aren't charging racism now, but you will? When? If you're going to have another press conference in one month to charge racism, we know you hold the charge right now! Not that they actually plan any such conference or open charge - no, what they plan is to stir up the muck of hatred right now for sympathy from black voters, to maintain power through division and fear - while doing everything they can to appear not to be doing this. It is an imagined vomit which they heaved and now sychophantically ingest. It should be spoken out against. Now. Loudly. Or perhaps regurgitated upon. Figuratively. Yes, America should throw up on such politics. It misrepresents good black folks.

Mother nature has lashed out against the lot of humanity, and only God may know why, but everyone down there deserves all the help that can possibly be sent their way.

April 4th

Casey Austin Sheehan was killed in the service of Liberty, April 4th 2004.

I died on April 4th. I met the eternal host gathered to honor risen soldiers. From among them came my long waiting forebearers, embracing me! Then came the free spirits of the race of my enemy, thanking me for my death in the name of their living. I could not tell them I was glad because I had not thought them brothers.

But gazing on the earth, I saw the great cords of Hell wound tight and strangling the enemy. The enemy forged their cord longer, grasping to bind all. My own cord now broken, where it had bound my brothers tight, they were loosed and came free! The heavens shouted a loud Halleluhah! - the chorus rang around the circuit of the sun! And as my brothers' cords released, I saw the bound of my enemy also coming free!

Returning my gaze to the earth, I saw my mother, my country, unmoved beyond the memory of my death. I saw my war now a passion for the world, and she sought reason for my death! But let passion be your reason, great mother, tell the world I am sorry I did not die sooner, to free brother and enemy in Honor! I cry for her to hear - Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! I wait for her. I died on April 4th.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Messages from the South

'Ol Nanny Zella Says:
Ya know Jim, I got's ta readin' this Sodomos Flog guy, and he's sayin' a lot hwat makin' sense ta me, y'hear? He's got me all wrapped up in this internet thingy thinkin' he's all right, but the more I think 'bout it, ya know I'm sayin' ta myself "why you are right, Sodomos Flog, you are!" And I'm tellin' Sue!
Young Capn' says:
Here in these 'nited states hwat 'Merica, ya got's yer major 'mendments. Ya got's yer first 'mendment hwat says ya got's ta have yer 'ligion, and yer second 'mendment hwat says ya got's ta have yer guns. And some hwat say ya gots ta have yer speech, but that 'dun matter much, 'cuz when them 'ol crazy Libs gets ta talkin' too much, why I just sick 'lil Bobby at im with a p-shooter, then hwat he all shut up. And that's why ya got's ta have yer guns.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Fear (of LDS culture in films)

Says Kurt Hale of the upcoming LDS comedy Church Ball:

"And we're trying to reach a broader audience, so we are constantly watering the Mormonism out."

This may show a belief that people are only interested in other people if they aren't unique; if they are in some way the same as ourselves. I think this is true in one context and false in many other contexts. I think this is definately true on the level where everybody is human and seeks after universal human meaning. I don't think it's true where everybody expresses that meaning differently, and where entire cultures have set ways of expressing it. My belief is that people are interested in coming to understand cultures foreign to them. Why not design the film to walk the audience through the experience of becoming someone else, of walking through a different culture, of Mormon culture in whatever ways it is different? I would guess from Hale's comment that his only approach is to reinforce culture where it is the same as other cultures.

Utah Mormon culture may be at least the same as much of American culture when it comes to competition in sports. A lot of Mormons distort their approach and go worse when it comes to sports. Hale may not explore whatever different approach to sports the Mormons take, and the film may suffer for it. An ending where the folks conclude that losing is really winning because you tried isn't novel. An increase of LDS inter-ward (stake) harmony as a consequence of it would be strange and novel. What if, stake-wide, the entrenched violent/super-competitive LDS elements looked to the Book of Mormon story of the Lamanites burying their weapons of war, and decided to bury their basketballs? And then later generations who made no such oath dug up the basketballs and went back to war?

It's easy to understand someone who is chopped down until they are like ourselves, but if you cut down everything different or challenging about a character, there's nothing left to reach for. And since there's nothing to reach for, the audience doesn't go on any substantial journey, and arriving at the door without ever going through it, they'll forget they ever came.

But, he adds, "..the whole story still takes place under the umbrella of the church. You just don't have to be a Mormon to get what we're doing."

Does this reveal a conclusion that no one wishes to look at the world through the lens of Mormon culture? The thing I loved about My Big Fat Greek Wedding was, specifically, the quirks, uniqueness, and idiosyncracies of Greek culture that the film walked me through. Someone compared this to The Singles Ward, complaining that The Signles Ward didn't walk you through the humor.

There's a tricky balance there. I would think the ideal thing is to set up enough information that the audience "gets it" without being spoon-fed.

I loved the Singles Ward (especially the main character's defining or transforming moments), but I have to agree with the provided example (link) of what non-LDS folks wouldn't get. Some things were deliberately this way, which can also work - such as the cameo of Richard Dutcher of Mormon fame for creating the film God's Army - Dutcher arriving at the door and declining to see his own film on the basis of its offensive content.

There are conflicting approaches to making films that are a lens on Mormon Culture. One, Dutcher's - by a lecture of his I attended at the Orem Public Library - is that LDS culture (and religion) shouldn't be "watered down" so as to be understood by the outside world. Another - Hale's - is that it does. Plainly, I more agree with the former. I add that we stand to benefit by finding ways to explore our culture from the point of view of the outside world. I'll explain why, with a prelude: Speaking straight from my religious perspective, we believe (and I beleive) that our religion has the only authority, if we are faithful, to exalt us. I am aware that such absolutism offends other denominations who insist on not insisting that they are the only ones with authority. That is a philisophical quandary for another day.

We stand to benefit understanding the view of outsiders to our religion. The reason for this is that, while in so many ways we are definately unique, in so many ways we are outsiders to our own religion.

Our own scripture says that natural man is an enemy to God. None of our scriptures say that at present we are collectively exalted as a people. So the lot of us are very often operating under the laws and foibles of natural man. In fact, according to President Ezra Taft Benson, the church as a whole remains under a sad condemnation for our failure to grasp and utilize the Book of Mormon as we ought. We are waiting for that condemnation to be lifted! So, while we have a grasp of the principles of our own religion on a level, all of us, in so many ways, do not grasp the full meaning. At present, Exalted we Ain't. So many of our misconceptions and bad habits fall right in line with our outside peers that we so condescendingly call "worldy", while we are just like them at times.

But this doesn't mean there isn't hope for ourselves and humanity. And what of our outsider peers? Brigham Young said that Mormons could lay claim to the truth wherever in the world we find it. We cannot know the truth elsewhere without comparing and adding it to what truth we already have. In that process of collecting truth from elsewhere, we must separate it from fallacy elsewhere. If separating exterior truth means separating from exterior fallacy, it must also be that interior truth was found by separating from interior fallacy. We weren't born into this world better, as so many of us so annoyingly behave as if we are, just because we're Mormon. We are as fallen as Adam ever was. I do not say that I hold our doctrines incorrect. I say that our behavior often goes against our doctrine. We try to do right but often we do wrong. We are supposed to learn from that process.

Someone may think I try to justify sin. I do not. Let's not sin. But when we do, let's learn from the experience instead of ignoring the sin. And, very frankly, here is my worry: that we are hiding. I fear that we are hiding who and what we are because to show others what we are, we have to show them more of what we aren't. We can't really put our highest aspirations out there unless we build those aspirations up from what ground we have not yet covered, or worse, sunk far too low upon. The light doesn't shine unless it shines in darkness, and our own human errors are a lot of that darkness.

So, I endorse works of art that show learning from sin insofar as it is an experience that teaches us we don't want it; that we do not want to do wrong but right. Everyone falls into this world with incomplete information. Positive and negative experiences teach us what life is really about.

If, as I fear, we get so caught up with being and doing right that wrong must be denied, we do ourselves a disservice, because there is always some wrong, and if we ignore it, it's power remains.

I know people who feel betrayed by Mormon comedies that explore our more common, I suppose mass-market foibles because the outside world will accept them - and who unfairly judge those comedies as putting up such foibles as ideal. This common response makes it very difficult to get anywhere with an audience. This response overlooks a major pretext of comedy: things being funny because they aren't cool; people being foolish. I wonder that the watering-down approach may be a response to that; not bringing up things that would really irk the audience. But I think watering down might also reinforce the response; I suspect an audience would be more inclined to forgive the film characters if deeper human flaws were exposed that explain their foolishness. Even there, though, a lot of audiences still don't get it. Their loss.

On the other side of the argument - watering ourselves down as far as presentation - there are places where we need that, where it would be innapropriate to explore some contrary or dark issue without sufficient exposure and time.