Tuesday, August 30, 2005

What A Katty Bitch!

I spent way too much time this morning watching CNN and The Weather Channel when I should have been sleeping. I have been to New Orleans three times now, and I'm absolutely in love with that town. I've been for Jazz Fest, New Year's Eve, and went once with my wife just to spend a week blowing our wad dining in the best restaurants in which we've ever had the pleasure of dining (I highly recommend Latrobe's on Royal for brunch and The Port of Call for an excellent hamburger and a monsoon or four). I hope Lafitte's (pictured above) made it. At over 230 years old, it's the oldest structure in New Orleans. I've stumbled out of there a few times.

More importantly, I hope the casualties aren't as high in number as the wreckage seems to indicate. They are strong willed, perseverant people. I'm sure they will do well. New Orleans is such a beautiful town with an eclectic mix of diverse people. I would love to call it home, except for the relentless heat and humidity.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Four Years Later...

We are nearing the four year mark since the attacks on the WTC and The Pentagon. What have we done in these four years? The UK has already made arrests in connection to the London Subway Bombings that happened on 07.07.05. Why are we still (not) after those responsible in our attacks? We are still wholly committed to a war that we have no chance of winning. And even if "we" do, what have we won? What have we accomplished?

Two days following the attacks Bush said, "The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him." On 03.13.02, Bush says "I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority." Which is it? Some people argue that Hussein was an evil man who needed to be removed. I don't disagree with that statement whatsoever. But the timing is all wrong, and it was not our responsibility to do so. We have a responsibility to those who lost their lives, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and friends on 09.11.01 to bring those responsible to justice. The surviving family members and friends of those victims should be absolutely outraged that Bush has exploited their loss to fuel his own personal vendetta. We, as Americans, have allowed ourselves to be distracted. The old bait and switch. On 09.12.01, we were thoroughly searching the caves in Afghanistan for Osama bin Laden. Instead of finding him, we found Hussein in an underground structure in Iraq. How did this happen? How can the American People just stand by idly, and not only allow, but encourage such behavior? The "election" in 2003 should not have even been close. I find it disgusting, appalling, astounding, frightening, horrid, awful, hideous... well... you get the idea.

The Armed Forces are having a hard time filling their recruiting quota. Not enough recruits are signing up. Hmmmm I wonder why that may be? Those who ARE serving, are staying longer than they were told. This will cause fatigue, then accidents and inefficiency, and when (and if) they get home, more emotional stress and mental illness. We are over-committing our "resources" to a lost cause. You tell ME who gives a shit about our troops! If we had gone after those responsible, and maintained our commitment, the trials would have already taken place, and our soldiers would be home by now. But this has instead turned into a four year embarassment.

Are we safer today than we were four years ago? No. What about our liberties? Are we a truly free people? No. They hate us for our freedom, you know. Why aren't we doing anything with Saudi Arabia? That's where the majority of the hijackers were from. Oh, right. They're our ALLIES. Not to mention, we buy a LOT of oil from them. And, as Mike Malloy would call them, The Bush Crime Family is friends with The Saudi Royal Family. And we are surprised that the price in oil keeps reaching record marks? Come on! This is really about one thing, when you really put it in simplest terms. The depletion of the middle class.

There is one point that does bring me some optimism. Historically, dynasties last about 200 years. I suppose that puts us in our "golden years."

Monday, August 22, 2005

Flogging Molly

Ok... Time for some fun, amidst all my political angst, frustrations, and anxiety. I took my wife and six year old daughter to Chicago last week to see a band called Flogging Molly. It was just as energetic and precise as I could have hoped. Maggie had a wonderful time. She was familiar with a good portion of their matierial, and has loved them since I first played them for her. We stood in the aisle as close to the stage as we could, with her on my shoulders so she could get a decent view. She was mesmerized. I was delighted. It was really cool to be standing there with her on my shoulders, while 6'2" 300# guys with tattooed faces, piercings, and leather collars made their way up to the bar for another whisky. As they passed, they all smiled when they saw her, and a good many of them stopped to say that it was "really fucking cool that you brought her." Then, they'd turn to Maggie, and ask if she's having fun. She couldn't be bothered, but they all understood. That made me very happy. Maggie even got a Flogging Molly T-shirt. Thus far, she's seen Ray Charles (she was only a few weeks old, so it really doesn't count), Utah Phillips, and Flogging Molly. I'd say she's well on her way to appreciating excellent music.

Ok. I promise not to get happy again. Vacation's over, and it's time to go back to work.