Friday, July 3, 2009

What Does July 4th Mean?

Tomorrow, we celebrate Independence Day, not thanks to the military day. We did all that on Memorial Day, Armed Forces Day, and next November we will do it on Veteran's Day. Yet, everywhere I go find references to thanking a veteran for July 4th. Nothing against veterans of course, but do not confuse things.

July 4th is not a military holiday. It is the way we celebrate the founding of our country. Yes, we fought a war to achieve it, but that is not the central theme. Somehow or other we keep wanting to bring up wars and veterans sacrifices. We do not celebrate freedom on July 4th. We celebrate freedom from England on that day. England was not a totalitarian country with no freedoms and closed borders. It used heavy handed tactics against the colonies, but it allowed the people to live freely.

Over recent years it seems we have gotten so wrapped up in wars and killing that we have forgotten the real meaning of July 4th. All we seem to really want to do is connect everything with war. When you look in the history section of most bookstores, the majority of the books are military oriented.

Our history is so much more than wars. Yet, for many war means everything. About the only war this country has fought that would have threatened our freedom was WW II. Vietnam, Korea, Spanish American, the Civil War, Iraq I and II, none of these were the result of a direct threat upon our freedom. Mostly, they have been about meddling in other countries' business.

I honor all our veterans and the great sacrifices they have made for their country, no matter whether the war was justified or not. They went because they had made a commitment and it takes great courage to do that. I would have found it very hard to have gone to Iraq over the past six years, had I been in the military. I would have gone, because I had made that commitment to my country, but I would not have like it one bit.

Tomorrow, however, I will be thinking about the founding of this great country and celebrating our independence from Great Britain, not about who fought in what war.

Say What?

After three years as Gov. of Alaska, Sarah Palin is resigning. I cannot imagine how this egotistical bimbo will survive without that bully pulpit. How will she keep her name in the news without another scandal for her to downplay? Comedians will not make jokes about her that she can milk to the last drop. How will she continue to exploit her unwed daughter's motherhood? Come to think of it, Palin has been so maligned lately by the Republican leaderhip, she may be leaving to get her name out of the news. Maybe she figures it will be better to not be seen and heard for a couple of years.

There is speculation that the resignation is tied to a run for something in 2012, but I wonder... Has she signed a contract with FALSE News? All the other losers ended up there: Karl Rove, Mike Huckabee, Ollie North, Geraldo Rivera. After all, her close adviser's wife, Greta, works there. could not be. You do not suppose she has been to Argentina lately? Could it be that she is Sanford's "soul mate?" Have they been making hankey-pankey at the Governor's meetings?

If Ms Palin actually believes that she has a chance to be a viable candidate for the presidency, and I think she does believe such, it could be the greatest election landslide for her opponent that this country has ever seen. Actually, I do not think that she would get past the primaries. If the GOP continues to be the almost ineffective party that it currently is, she would set it back so far it would never recover. Only the die hard Republican base believes in Palin, mainly because of her religious beliefs. Unfortunately for the GOP, religion is the only qualification that these people see in a candidate.

Sarah, we will miss you, but thanks for the memories. We had some great laughs at your expense. We saw some great examples of Republican hypocrisy come from your brief stay on the national stage. We learned about the AIP and your husband's involvement in this very anti-American group. We learned that religious talk alone does not prevent pregnancies in teenagers. Good parenting works better. We learned that a woman can have a baby and no one can know about the pregnancy beforehand. We learned that a person can be elected Governor of Alaska and be a candidate for VP of the United States and know little about the world outside Alaska. Gosh, I could go on and on...but I will not.

Michael and Elvis

Michael Jackson died a week ago. The circus that is his life and death has just gotten cranked up. Will it end? Maybe, in 50 years or so. First they have to get him buried, whenever and wherever that may be. It will be spectacular. Then there will be the lawsuits contesting his will and custody of the children. Everyone will want a slice of the pie that will be huge, if his estate is properly managed. At the time of his death he was millions in debt. Yet the music catalogs that he owned, including his own, will be worth billions in years to come. His estate will be making money into the unforeseeable future...maybe.

Of course no one knows for sure how he died. The LA police, as usual, have probably botched the initial investigation, something they usually do with celebrities (hmmmm.) so there may never be a definitive answer. That fact alone will lead to the rumors of his still being alive. There will be sightings, of course. He will be rumored to have moved to some far corner of the world to live his life in peace. After all, that rehearsal video shows him to be very much alive only a few days before his supposed death instead of frail and weak as some clam. Therefore, he must have surely faked his own death.

Then there are the impersonators. They will be numerous in the next few months, but over time only a few will survive to make a living off it. "See the world's greatest Michael Jackson Impersonator, tonite only, LIVE!" The tribute songs will follow, and millions will trek to whatever shrine is established as the ultimate monument to his memory. Neverland Ranch, maybe? For years they will go there to see the gloves that he wore, the hats and the costumes. They will get older, but they will still go, trying to relive their youth in memory of yet another screwed up celebrity, who could have lived so much longer.

Michael and Elvis. They will debate it for years to come. Who was the greatest? Which one has made the most money and had the most hits? Both were rock icons of their time and both had millions of dedicated fanatics. Elvis abused prescription drugs and it appears that Michael did as well. Both had enablers surrounding them, keeping them supplied with whatever they needed. Yes-men and women, who made their living keeping the star happy. Suddenly they were out of work. Both had personal physicians, who hovered nearby, supplying them with whatever they needed. They too, were suddenly out of a major source of income. Elvis' doctor, as I recall, was prosecuted. Michael's has hired a lawyer.

Personally, I do not get it. I shed no tears when Elvis died, nor have I shed tears over Michael. I did not know either of them personally. They were not close friends or family, therefore, I felt no great sorrow. Their deaths came and went. They both died at nearly the same age. Elvis was 49 as I recall. Michael was 50. Both died too young, but one could not have imagined either of them being 70 and trying to do what they did when they were 25. Both had super egos and probably could not have survived the downhill slide. Maybe an early death was their destiny.

"God Killed Michael Jackson to Save Your ......

See Jon Stewart tell Gov. Sanford to SHUT UP already!:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Shut Up, Mark Sanford
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJason Jones in Iran

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

"Tricky" Dick Doesn't Want Iraq Withdrawal? Update on "Sourpuss McMonkey Heart"

Today is a great day. Our soldiers are being withdrawn from Iraq's cities as the first phase of a complete withdrawal. In a recent interview the "Evil One" said, "...I would not want to see the U.S. waste all the tremendous sacrifice that has gotten us to this point.“ I have news "Darth," your administration signed the agreement that requires the US to remove its soldiers.

In the same interview the "Evil One," in the usual Bush/Cheney mode, misquoted Gen. Odierno by failing to use the entire quote. He said that the General is concerned about continuing violence, but he failed to also say that the General does not believe that the violence is such that the Iraqi government can't handle it.

Finally, after years of wasteful spending and killing in a war that was completely fabricated by Bush and Cheney, we may be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Let us hope that the needless deaths of American soldiers will come to an end. Cheney, Bush, Rove, Wolfowitz and the rest will have to live with the blood of Americans and Iraqis on their hands for the rest of their lives.

I do not think that Bush has given the war a second thought, but I wonder about Cheney. For the last several months he has been desperately trying to convince us (and maybe himself) that what he did was right. Could it be that he has a conscience after all? Maybe he can already see himself frying and sizzling with the ghosts of dead soldiers and Iraqis dancing around him. Maybe he has nightmares of being water boarded incessantly. I am sorry. I got carried away with wishful thinking. The man has nothing at all inside. Just a cold, calculating mind.

See Jon Stewart take Cheney to task over his statement:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Dick Cheney's Withdrawal Timeline
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJason Jones in Iran

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Real Victims of the Fiasco that Was the LIfe of Michael Jackson

As I read all of the garbage that normally results from the death of a controversial celebrity, the thing that stands out the most are the three children, Prince Michael I and II and Paris Michael Katherine. They are the real victims of Jackson's existence. By all accounts Jackson was most likely gay and paid to have his children borne by two women, one to whom he was "married."

Just the names of the children make me cringe. The man had so little regard for them but to give all of them, even the girl, his name. They were like playthings to him. I recall him swinging the girl (I hesitate to refer to her as his daughter.) out over a balcony. She was covered by a blanket, so I suppose that is how she got the nickname "Blanket."

Who knows what these children have been exposed to over the years? They have probably had little real parenting, beyond that of a nanny. The mother of the two oldest children has said that she wants no part of them. She was married to Jackson, but only to bear him children by artificial insemination. The mother of the youngest is, publicly at least, unknown. They have all lived in proximity to a troubled man, who, at the very least, had a very strange lifestyle. Now, they are basically cast out to the world. There is little evidence that Jackson's family is interested in anything more than any valuable possessions that he might have had. There is a "godfather" in England, who has expressed interest. It is sad that they have no family interested in taking them in.

I am always dismayed by the way so many celebrities have children right and left with several different mothers and fathers. The children are exposed to who knows what and often end up with problems beyond imagination. The celebrities are so into themselves and, often, their addictions, that they provide little parenting. The children are raised by surrogates of some sort and know nothing of a real family life.

Today's society is more and more mirroring this "celebrity" lifestyle. We see it daily around us. Unwed mothers, unwed mothers and fathers living together with no commitment. The children of such unions are often presented with poor examples of parenting and will, most likely, grow up to carry on the "family" tradition. They will have little idea of how to put together a nurturing family of their own. As with the Jackson children, it does not bode well for so many young ones today.