"Pretty good year"
Here's all the things that went right in 2004.
And let me add my wish for all of you to have a happy and safe New Year. If the article above is to be believed, 2005 has a lot of momentum behind it already.
- Name: Kadnine
- Location: LaGrange, Kentucky, United States
The opinions and interests of a husband, analyst and Iraq war veteran.
Secretary of State Colin Powell found himself in the position of having to remind the world that over the past four years the United States has provided more such aid than all other nations on the planet combined.Isn't this what bloggers have been saying since Sunday?
It is appalling that he had to mention this... But maybe people are looking for a sideshow to distract them from the sickening pictures and the keening cries of the untold numbers of mothers whose babies were swept away.
There never was a time when working-class Americans voted for liberals whose values they rejected but whose economic programmes enticed them. Before the federal judiciary nationalised issues like abortion, gay rights and censorship, beginning in the 1960s, these controversies were part of state and local politics, not national politics. Conservative Catholics in the midwest or southern populists could vote for social conservatism in state and local elections, while voting for New Deal economic policies at the federal level. Thanks to federalism, New Deal liberals like Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Johnson took positions on the economy and foreign policy; they did not have to take stands on abortion or gay rights. The very success of liberals in nationalising these issues has worked against them in a country in which self-described liberals are a minority, outnumbered by self-described moderates and conservatives.
Reuters: 'Who's Your Daddy?' TV show sparks furyJerry Springer in a primetime slot? Finally... nonstop schlock from daytime TV all the way through through the wee hours of Elimidate.
Deborah Capone, a single mother with a 5-year-old adopted daughter, is behind an e-mail campaign that has generated more than 5,000 messages to Fox in a week asking for a meeting and for the show to be axed.
"By turning adoption reunions into a game show, 'Who's Your Daddy?' takes an intensely personal and complex situation ... and transforms it into a voyeuristic display," Capone said.
Reality programming, in which ordinary people put themselves in embarrassing or emotionally charged situations, has dominated American television for the past three years, producing efforts such as "Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire", "Survivor", "My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance" and "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy."Um... okay. I confess to being as amused by reality TV as any other American. However I really don't know what to think when Reuters UK features outraged American prudes in an "Oddly Enough" article. ("I say, Hadley. Those yanks certainly do seem puritanical an awful lot of the time." "Quite so, Trevor.") I'd like to point out that Fox's OTHER "embarassing" reality show Nanny 911 is based on a British show. Enormously successful over there. Or so I'm told.
Awww, I kinda thought it was cute. ;)That's the problem! It's infectious... like... uh... like a newly birthed Macarena II, Electric Boogaloo! Do you really want that? Do ya?
The last count was 25 dead, and around 45 wounded. Nevertheless, our cause is just and God is in control even when the crap is a yard deep.Amen to that.
A college professor, an avowed Atheist, was teaching his class. He shocked several of his students when he flatly stated that there is no God. He declared that the expression, "One Nation under God," was unconstitutional, and further, he was going to prove there is no God.
Addressing the ceiling he shouted, "God, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform. I'll give you 15 minutes!"
The lecture room fell silent. You could have heard a pin drop. Ten minutes went by. Again he taunted God, saying, "Here I am, God. I'm still waiting."
His countdown got to the last few minutes, when a Marine, just released from active duty and newly registered in the class, walked up to the professor, hit him full force in the face, knocking him from the platform.
Eventually, the professor came to, shaken. He looked at the young Marine and yelled, "What's the matter with you? Why did you do that?"
"God was busy. He sent me."
As you know, I asked for toys for the Iraqi children over here and several people (Americans that support us) sent them over by the box. On each patrol we take through the city, we take as many toys as will fit in our pockets and hand them out as we can. The kids take the toys and run to show them off as if they were worth a million bucks. We are as friendly as we can be to everyone we see, but especially so with the kids. Most of them don't have any idea what is going on and are completely innocent in all of this.- From a Gunny in Iraq
On one such patrol, our lead security vehicle stopped in the middle of the street. This is not normal and is very unsafe, so the following vehicles began to inquire over the radio. The lead vehicle reported a little girl sitting in the road and said she just would not budge. The command vehicle told the lead to simply go around her and to be kind as they did. The street was wide enough to allow this maneuver and so they waved to her as they drove around.
As the vehicles went around her, I soon saw her sitting there and in her arms she was clutching a little bear that we had handed her a few patrols back. Feeling an immediate connection to the girl, I radioed that we were going to stop. The rest of the convoy paused and I got out the make sure she was OK. The little girl looked scared and concerned, but there was a warmth in her eyes toward me. As I knelt down to talk to her, she moved over and pointed to a mine in the road.
by Peter Beinart
...The second liberal hawk assumption was that the Bush administration would take postwar nation-building seriously...
The problem with this second assumption was that it underestimated Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's mania to use Iraq as a showcase for his vision of a leaner, meaner military. Rumsfeld insisted on a much smaller U.S. force than the Army had proposed--a force capable of overthrowing Saddam, but incapable of providing security once he was gone. The meager U.S. invasion force being assembled in the Kuwaiti desert should have set off alarm bells among pro-war liberals, given the lessons from the '90s about how many troops were needed to prevent postwar chaos.
[T]wo principles that undergirded it must be preserved if liberals are ever to lead the ideological struggle that will continue long after American troops leave Falluja.
The first is a belief in nation-building...
...Polls suggested that, in the immediate aftermath of Saddam's overthrow, Iraqis were far more grateful for the war--and far less hostile to the U.S. occupation--than they later became. The rapid souring was caused, above all, by Rumsfeld's refusal to provide enough troops to ensure security--a failure illustrated most dramatically in the spasm of looting that followed the U.S. victory.
The U.S. inability to restore order was exacerbated by L. Paul Bremer's move to disband the Iraqi military, which also contradicted the advice of experts inside and outside the government. Disbanding the military stripped hundreds of thousands of Sunnis of their jobs and their pride, making them easy prey for the insurgency. That further undermined security and retarded reconstruction, thus preventing the tangible gains that might have preserved Iraqi goodwill toward the U.S. occupation.
[I]deologically, secular dictatorship promotes jihadist extremism--both because secular dictators fuel the popular rage that leads people to turn to Islamist opposition movements and because secular dictators seek legitimacy by ceding control over civil society to Islamists. That was true of Saddam, and it is true of many of his counterparts throughout the Middle East. Which is why ending tyranny in the Muslim world must be central to U.S. antiterrorist efforts.
The danger is that, in the wake of Iraq, liberals will turn inward, as many did after Vietnam. They will abandon the belief that U.S. power can positively change the Muslim world and instead argue that the United States should merely aggravate it less while killing terrorists where we can. In a bitter irony, that will leave nation-building and democracy-promotion in the hands of conservatives like Rumsfeld, who never really believed in it. It will leave liberals on the sidelines of the great ideological struggle in which the United States is engaged. And, with liberals on the sidelines, the United States can't win.
“Pompeii” is about a volcano, yes, but it’s the finest novel about plumbing you’ll ever read. I’m not being sarcastic.The rest of the review is here.
Rutgers researchers may have stopped HIV Researchers at Rutgers University have developed a trio of drugs they believe can destroy HIV, the virus that causes AIDS ... “This could be it,” Stephen Smith, the head of the department of infectious diseases at Saint Michael's Medical Center in Newark, said. ... The optimism about R278474 stems from its potential to interfere with an enzyme that the virus needs to copy and insert itself into a human cell. “We're onto something very, very special,” Dr. Arnold said.Dear God, let it be true. HIV/AIDS is an unimaginable horror that will be erased from the face of the earth... better sooner than later. Contrary to those who think that America is the cause of this plague, American dollars will eventually help to eradicate it.
Experience countsThis theory does indeed hold merit. Just this weekend at an extended family gathering, my grandmother told me how glad she was that I was back from Iraq while American boys die every day "over there." I responded that every day, the 129,999 who don't make the news (by dying) are accomplishing great things "over there." She countered by stating that Iraq seems to her the most unpopular war since Vietnam.
[L]et's ask why the Moore wing is so influential compared to the party's far left wing in the late 1940s... [T]he anti-totalitarianism of that generation was not based on electoral calculation (the Democrats had won four presidential races in a row), but on bitter life experiences... [WWII, totalitarian union organizers]
What about today's left? It's most searing experience remains the Vietnam War... in Michael Moore's words, America "is known for bringing sadness and misery to places around the globe." To these leftist the Islamofascists, if they exist at all, are an abstraction. Leftists have never dealt with them...
If this theory has merit, the Democratic party's real problem may be that it's the captive of its baby-boomer wing, of which Michael Moore is only an over-sized manifestation.
VacancyPersonally, I like the guy. He cuts a fine image as a reformer brought back from exile, eager to do the right thing by the Iraqi people, and he's got the fascinating stories of Ba-athist attempts on his life to back up that image. I'll confess that I haven't looked vary hard at his mistakes. Mainly due to my mistrust of the messengers. (The NYT, WaPo, L.A. Times, Globe, etc.)
The Iraq embassy in Washington is a symptom of many Allawi problems.
Because Allawi's support lies not in Baghdad but in Washington, some Iraqis suggest that the interim prime minister is hesitant to appoint any intermediary who might dilute his access. Perhaps this is a shrewd political move on Allawi's part, but it is also a selfish one — it slights the thousands of American soldiers who have sacrificed for Iraq, as well as the American taxpayers who have subsidized Iraq's liberation. Then again, Allawi's decision to leave the post vacant does have one advantage: It gives the interim prime minister a retirement option after the January 30 elections.
Says the writer, Peter Mehlman: “Ignore the rumors. L.A. does have four seasons: earthquake season, fire season, riot season, and the most ravaging – pilot season. Network TV keeps groping to win over an America it despises – a viewing public it seems as a blurry, fat, brainless blob of uninsured, Hemi-powered, God-fearing Wal-Mart clerks. I’m paid to entertain them.”I'd alway suspected as much ;)
And now you know why sitcoms suck.
No Moore Thank YouAnd I agree. The (once great) Democratic Party has suffered enormously at the hands of those like Moore.
"It is time for Democrats to start the effort to bring their party back to the center, and a key element in this effort will be for some high-profile Democrat to pick a very public, very nasty fight with Michael Moore."
"TORONTO (CP) - A former United States marine told a refugee hearing for an American war dodger Tuesday that trigger-happy U.S. soldiers in Iraq routinely killed unarmed woman and children, and murdered other Iraqis in violation of international law."
"On several occasions, his soldiers pumped hundreds of bullets into cars that failed to stop at U.S. military checkpoints, killing all occupants - who were later found to be unarmed, Massey said."
"Hinzman, 26, deserted his regiment in January just days before being deployed to Iraq, and fears he will be unfairly court-martialled if returned to the United States."
"Not since American Beauty has a film wanted to dive so deep into so shallow a pool."I can see where he's going with this. I'm tempted to go see it just to watch the reactions of the audience. Will they nod sagely over deep symbolism of gratuitous sex (as intended by the film maker) or will they giggle, like I saw them do during Higher Learning or The Piano.
L.A. Times On the evening of Oct. 14, a young Marine spokesman near Fallouja appeared on CNN and made a dramatic announcement. "Troops crossed the line of departure," 1st Lt. Lyle Gilbert declared, using a common military expression signaling the start of a major campaign. "It's going to be a long night." CNN, which had been alerted to expect a major news development, reported that the long-awaited offensive to retake the Iraqi city of Fallouja had begun. In fact, the Fallouja offensive would not kick off for another three weeks. Gilbert's carefully worded announcement was an elaborate psychological operation — or "psy-op" — intended to dupe insurgents in Fallouja and allow U.S. commanders to see how guerrillas would react if they believed U.S. troops were entering the city [...] Officials at the Pentagon and other U.S. national security agencies said the CNN incident was not an isolated feint — the type used throughout history by armies to deceive their enemies — but part of a broad effort underway within the Bush administration to use information to its advantage in the war on terrorism.Hey Media! You're just now getting around to realizing that you're a tool to be used by a savvy and resourceful US Military? Don't you remember "shock and awe?" Where was the shock and awe you repeated ad nauseum for weeks before the war opened with pinpoint bombings of strategic installations? Wake up and smell the napalm. We need your services.. on OUR side for a change. Sheesh.