Friday, June 30, 2006

Open Letter to Michelle Malkin




dear michelle:

hi.

i just wanted to let you know something, and i'm telling you this before you hear it from someone you think is your best friend forever.

michelle: you're not white, dear. really, you're not.

now, don't get me wrong -- i like people who are not white. and i also like people who are white. i'm really just a people person.

but a lot of the people who *don't* like people who are not white are the people you think are your friends.

and one of these days, some of those so-called friends of yours are going to tell you that you are not white.

so i thought i'd tell you first.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Deny It for a Billion Dollars, Sure ...

I have some questions about the people who pretend climate crisis is not the growing disasater it is, and if it will be too late to change directions when they realize how badly they are being duped.

First, a statement of rational if reprehensible behavior: If you are the president of Exxon, and you're getting paid a billion dollars to deny that what you do when you go to work every day is damaging the future of every living thing on the planet, you're just protecting your very very very large paycheck. While that's not honorable, decent or nice, it does fit into some kind of framework of putting your bank account first, and the hell with everyone else.

But what is driving the angry, ranting, barely coherent people -- see the Amazon.com comments on Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth," for plenty of examples -- who are not getting paid a billlion dollars to deny what is happening to the planet before our very eyes? If they’re not getting paid to deny the poor prognosis of polar bears, coastal cities, and the planet, what is driving them to do it?

And which will happen first -- that the people who are not being paid to deny that glaciers are melting and the ocean is rising will see that they have been badly duped, or that when there finally is a consensus to change directions ... it will already be too late?

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Political Science

Today's thesis is that Iraq and Vietnam are similar in many ways, and not so much in other ways. Discuss:

Similarities: The propaganda point that "fighting them over there means that we won't have to fight them here" corresponds very closely to the "domino theory" of why we had to stop Communism in Vietnam before it spread somehow across the ocean.

While it is true that there are now a great many more Vietnamese restaurants in the US outside of major cities than there used to be, I think the owners and their families are generally not attempting to spread Communism here.

Meanwhile, in Iraq, we are making enemies faster than we can kill them, as the bumper sticker says, which actually increases the possibility that we will have to fight them here the longer we stay there.

Differences: People who want the Iraq misadventure to end don't hold it against the troops, as people mistakenly did in Vietnam; that's a good thing. Support the troops, bring them home, is the new formulation.

Conclusion: Here's what the people who want to keep sending soldiers into this failed effort in Iraq just don't get:

  1. Keep sending soldiers, and more soldiers will die
  2. Stop sending soldiers, and no more soldiers will die

Questions?

Friday, June 23, 2006

Had enough? Had enough!

Slogans. Catch phrases. 2-4-6-8, who do we appreciate. And so on.

Here are some suggestions for the good guys:

-- Had enough? Had enough!
-- More of the same? No way. End the lies. Troops home today.

Try it yourself -- it's really pretty easy.

Why isn't Al Gore the President?

Just got back from an Al Goore booksigning. Being a former newspaper reporter, I can't help but run storylines through my head when I go places, especially when there's politics involved.

Here are two ledes to a booksigning story, each objectively true, and each spun differently:

Lede 1: Booksigning a Huge Success for Gore: Al Gore signed copies of "An Inconvenient Truth" today for an enthusiastic crowd that snapped up all 1,000 available copies, with about 500 people more in the store than there were books.

Lede 2: Gore Runs Out of Books: There were more people than books in the store today.

And that's how the game is played.

Anyway, Gore seems like a smart, decent, gracious man who is not a performer and not a politician.

I have been around both species, and I have seen them light up when the curtains open, their names are called, and they smell the crowd.

But there wasn't any of that vibe with Gore.

He was warm and friendly when people he knew stepped up; he stood and embraced them, and seemed genuinely glad to see them.

With the rest of the crowd, he was kind and attentive, but more in the manner of someone of good will who is trying really hard than someone who not only enjoys it but, as with many politicos and performers, very deeply needs it.

Unfortunately for the country, that performer thing matters more in getting elected than the things that matter more for governing: character, honor, humility, knowledge, wisdom, you know, the stuff that is actually important.

I don't know where the country goes from here.