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Step off, old man!
Sunday, 27 June 2004
Fahrenheit, Army recruiters, and changing the tone
I saw Fahrenheit 9-11 on Friday night. It was, at turns, funny, poignant, and difficult to watch. Some of the war footage was tough to take, as well as the footage of war dead. Also, it was pretty sad to see the family of a dead soldier and servicemen with missing limbs, terrible wounds, and nerve damage that makes even talking a chore.

It's worth seeing.

Bush supporters who remain staunchly behind the President remind me of Texas hold-'em poker players. Basically, they went all-in on a hand they believed was a winner. Now that they see the results, they are trying to bluff their way out of it.

There was a scene in the movie where Marine recruiters go to a rundown mall in Michigan to recruit young men and women into the service. They are incredibly aggressive, literally chasing people around the parking lot. Most are minority and look like they come from tough circumstances.

There's a kid named Sam who I'm friendly with. He's a 19-year old black kid who lives in a housing project in Providence. Army recruiters have been calling him relentlessly because he once indicated interest in the service when he was in high school. By their language, the recruiters have given him the impression that he has no choice but to sign up. I told him otherwise. It shows how desperate the Armed Services are for new recruits.

Nice to see Dick Cheney is part of changing the tone in Washington. Of course, Bush doesn't think he did anything wrong. But of course, this is the super-Christian President who believes God selected him to lead the country at this time in history and who is proud of putting more people to death than anyone in the history of Texas.

Heaven help us.

Posted by brettdavey at 6:42 PM EDT
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Friday, 25 June 2004
Moore vs. Cheney
I'm going to see "Farenheight 9/11" tonight. I know Michael Moore is a pariah to everyone on the right. The level of anger at him from the right is equal to the level of support from the left. Hey, it's a polarized country, baby! Just say to yourself: uniter, not divider.

I saw Moore on the Jon Stewart show last night. He's always been a fat guy but he looked especially huge, to the point where I was actually concerned for him. I mean, the guy looks like a heart attack waiting to happen.

So, here's the question: who will suffer the next heart attack -- Cheney or Moore? You make the call!

Posted by brettdavey at 1:16 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 23 June 2004

The "Nope, we never said it..." rationale offered by the Bush Administration when it comes to the Iraq-9/11 connection is sickening. People like to laugh at Clinton's "depends on what the definition of 'is' is.." but if he ever tap danced as hard as the Bush Administration, he'd be the next Savion Glover.

This letter, from President Bush to the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate, is another example of a sentence worded to make it look like Iraq was an accessory to 9/11. Sad.

March 18, 2003

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

Consistent with section 3(b) of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243), and based on information available to me, including that in the enclosed document, I determine that:

(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic and other peaceful means alone will neither (A) adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq nor (B) likely lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq; and

(2) acting pursuant to the Constitution and Public Law 107-243 is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.


Posted by brettdavey at 8:57 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 22 June 2004
Repubs gone wild!
No doubt, there are flawed, imperfect people on both sides of the aisle. I guess what gets me is the Republican claims of moral superiority (special shout out to Bill Bennett!)Here are a few examples from today's papers about Republicans acting badly:

1) Actress Jeri Ryan accused ex-husband Jack Ryan of insisting she go to "explicit sex clubs" in New York, New Orleans and Paris during their marriage -- including "a bizarre club with cages, whips and other apparatus hanging from the ceiling." Jack Ryan wanted her to have sex with him while others watched, the star of "Boston Public" alleged. The Republican U.S. Senate candidate dismissed his ex-wife's allegations as "ridiculous accusations" and "smut" that she was dishing out without concern about how it would make their young son "feel about his parents or himself."

2) Gov. John G. Rowland of Connecticut announced this evening that he was resigning from office, six months after questions about his relationships with people doing business with the state prompted an impeachment inquiry and refocused a federal corruption investigation on him. "I acknowledge that my poor judgment has brought us here," Governor Rowland said in a brief address outside the governor's mansion as his wife, Patricia, stood at his side.

3) Former conservative radio talk show host Jon Matthews pleaded guilty today to a charge of indecency with a child in a plea agreement with prosecutors. Matthews, 59, who resigned from his position at Houston's KSEV-AM 700 last year, was to go to trial June 28 but decided to accept the agreement after rejecting it last week, said Fort Bend County District Attorney John Healey.

Like I said, I'm always suspicious of people who are so damned moral publicly. (Hi, Rush. Sorry to hear your third marriage fell apart.)

Posted by brettdavey at 9:33 AM EDT
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Monday, 21 June 2004
The death of journalism
The coverage of Ronald Reagan's death may indeed have been the death knell for legitimate journalism. There are a number of factors that have contributed to the decline of journalism -- the 24-hour news channels, the rise of interest groups willing to lie about their opponents, the laziness of reporters -- but the single biggest factor may be the unwillingness of reporters to question a popular concept.

The Iraq war was one case of that. Any reporter who dared to question the rationale for going to war was blasted as unpatriotic or denied access by the Administration. Again, don't underestimate the laziness of today's reporter. There's an old joke that a current headline would probably read: "Politician claims Earth is flat: opponents disagree." That's the case today; almost everything is: he said, she said.

Reagan's death, funeral, and legacy deserved widespread coverage. It also deserved honest coverage. But that's not the way it happened.

One of the best things to come out of rap music is the term "hater." The political equivalant of a "hater" was anyone who dared to say anything negative about Reagan. All you needed was Sean Hannity saying, "Don't be hatin'."

Reagan was not a perfect man, and I'm sure he'd be the first to acknowledge. His first marriage failed, at a time when many outside of Hollywood didn't just casually dump one wife for another. He wasn't a perfect father, as evidenced by the estrangement of two of his children. He wasn't a perfect leader, either, but heaven forbid anyone dare utter even a single negative phrase about it.

Reagan was an important figure at an important time in history. At the time of his death, he should have been analyzed respectfully, but honestly. The fact that so many reporters were afraid to do so does not bode well for the future of journalism.

Posted by brettdavey at 8:27 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 8 June 2004
E-mail me...
I'm too much of a dummy to figure out how to e-mail anyone who posts to my blog. If you post, please attach your e-mail address as well.


Posted by brettdavey at 1:36 PM EDT
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Too much coverage?
This comes from about the ongoing Reagan coverage. Personally, I'm not sure how much is too much when it comes to stuff like this. I watched the 60 Minutes coverage on Sunday and must say that I completely felt for Nancy Reagan and the hell she has endured for the last 10 years. Truly heartbreaking. Now, on to Wonkette.

"So glad that the nets are going wall-to-wall with the Reagan stuff for the fourth consecutive day. Otherwise we might forget that he's dead. At this point, however, the strain of keeping the story alive is starting to show. Fox, for instance, has run out of famous Reagan fanatics; this morning they interviewed one of the soldiers guarding the president's casket.

Fox: Did you ever meet Reagan?
Marine (who appears to be approximately 18 years old): Uh, no, sir.
Fox: How much of an honor is it to be doing this duty?
Marine: It's a great honor."

Thank God for the 24-hour news cycle.

Posted by brettdavey at 1:32 PM EDT
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Saturday, 5 June 2004
OJ next to stump for Bush?
I'm a big boxing fan. I've always been amazed by the ability of promoter Don King to keep everyone off balance with his motor mouth and vocabulary. In some ways, King uses his mouth like Ali used his jab.

There are numerous tales of King screwing over fighters. Boxing is a tough business and King is a shrewd and tough guy, even now in his 70s. Don't let the hair, mouth, and flag-waving fool you. Under the carnival barker exterior lies the heart of a hitman.

Did you know that King has killed two men? He was convicted of manslaughter for stomping to death a numbers runner who was holding out on him. That's when King was big with the Cleveland mob. Then, he killed another guy who tried to steal King's money. That one was called justifiable homicide.

I bring this up because King has been stumping for GW Bush with Ed Gillespie, Republican National Chairman. Now, I have nothing against King per se, but doesn't that strike anyone as a little odd?

A late update: Actor Robert Blake has already vowed to hit the campaign trail with Cheney later this summer if he is cleared on his murder charge.

Posted by brettdavey at 8:51 PM EDT
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Faith Popcorn was right!
About 10 years ago, I worked as a reporter for a business newspaper. There was a marketing guru named Faith Popcorn who predicted a trend known as "cocooning." (As an aside, I can't believe Faith Popcorn is her real name. Since she is a marketing expert, it appears she picked a name that is eminently memorable. I say that because I have a terrible memory for names and I can remember hers.)

Anyway, cocooning was the trend towards people locking themselves down in their homes and becoming less involved in the world around them. With the advent of high speed internet access and digital cable, there has become even less reason for people to travel outside their homes. Just visit a Home Depot on the weekend and you'll see the white suburban male buying stuff to make his fortress even more impenetrable. It looks like a scene from a disaster movie where characters are preparing for an assault from a killer tornado or an armada of aliens.

I bring this up because I went car shopping today. Probably 3/4 of the vehicles for sale were SUVs. I think it's an extension of the cocooning theory. People want to feel safe in their vehicle, while keeping as much distance between themselves and their fellow citizens.

Hence, the rolling home known as the SUV.

Posted by brettdavey at 8:43 PM EDT
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Thursday, 3 June 2004
Michael Savage snaps
I turned on the radio last night for the Red Sox pre-game show and caught the last few minutes of the Michael Savage show. My first question is: how could any reputable radio station carry such a hate-filled psycho? My second question is: when did Savage turn on Bush? He was referring to him as a louse on the same level as Kerry.

It might be an act, but I swear, he seemed about two minutes away from coming completely unhinged.

Posted by brettdavey at 7:39 AM EDT
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