Saturday, April 25, 2009

Quick Hits

Another busy time, but not too busy for a bit of blogging...

- We've just celebrated Earth Day this past week. As much flak as it's gotten, I happen to think the message behind it is still pretty sound. If we trash the planet too much, it's not a good idea because we don't have an alternate place to live at the moment. That, and I'm not sure Mars is too keen on taking in homeless Earthlings.

- Having said that, I think we need to really reexamine how Earth Day is being promoted. This year's sign was a young polar bear on a small ice floe with a windmill on it. The sign is supposed to symbolize the melting of the polar ice caps (a concept that is still being debated as to its validity), but the first time I saw it, I said, "Hey! That bear's going for a ride on a souped-up ice floe!" Then again, that's just me.

- Speaking of Earth Day, former Vice President Al Gore was on Capitol Hill on Friday talking about global warming. On the same day, Mexico announced that a new form of swine flu capable of affecting humans had been discovered and had made people sick. Let's see...a new outbreak of swine flu on the same day Gore's on Capitol Hill... coincidence? I THINK NOT!

- One of the big stories this past week was the "controversy" over the Miss USA Pageant and Miss California's answer to a question about gay marriage asked by judge Perez Hilton. Whether you think her answer was good or bad or whether her answer cost her the title of Miss USA isn't all that important in the grand scheme of things. Her answer rambled a bit, but we got the message. And the response from Perez Hilton was predictable. The only question I have at this point is why should people care what Perez Hilton has to say about, oh, anything? He's a Hollywood gossip columnist/blogger whose name is close to that of a no-talent rich girl famous more for her looks, her sexual exploits, her run-ins with the law, and being incredible vapid. Yeah, I really want to take my cues from that guy...

- Since we're on the subject of Hollywood, let's talk about someone else who has made a splash in the media recently, Janene Garafalo. As if her recent comments about the Tea Parties weren't enough (and for a lot of people, they were), she decides in the following statement from about a year ago that conservative Republicans are the way they are because of...mental health issues.

The reason a person is a conservative Republican is because something is wrong with them. Again, that's science - that's neuroscience. You cannot be well-adjusted open-minded, pluralistic, enlightened, and be a Republican.

Funny thing. I looked up her biography online in a couple of different places, and nowhere does it state that she has a degree in neuroscience. She was studying history in college before she made the jump into stand-up comedy, but no neuroscience. Granted, she could have picked up a little knowledge on the subject along the way, but I'd be curious to know what medical research she's read on the subject of conservative Republicans and whether their political beliefs truly are neurological in nature.

Until then, I'm just going to assume she's talking out of her hat again.

- Another big story this week has been the Obama Administration's decision to release the photos of alleged torture committed under the Bush Administration. People may wonder how the "Islamic street" may think about the photos, but I've seen this song and dance before. They weren't too keen about a newspaper publishing cartoons about Allah, so I'm going to guess they're going to react the same way to the release of these photos. Just a guess. But the burning question on a lot of people's minds is why release the photos. Truly it can serve no good purpose and will only fan the flames of anti-American hatred around the world. The only purpose I can see is purely political. Sure, if what we did amounts to torture, it's horrible, but showing the world the pictures of that torture compounds the problem. Is making the Bush Administration look bad really worth the cost to a President who has repeatedly said that he wants to improve our image with the rest of the world?

- Finally, let's talk about Nancy Pelosi and whether she knew about the torture methods allegedly used. She was at the meeting where they were discussed, and there are witnesses. For her to say she didn't know or that she didn't believe waterboarding in particular would be used is disingenuous at best, and complete bullplop at its core. Listen, Nance. You were there. You knew. You signed off on it with your votes and your silence. But at the time, you weren't thinking politically; you were thinking about protecting this country against terrorists. Just be straight with us, Speaker Pelosi. You may not get too many people from your voting base to understand, but it's a heck of a lot better to tell the truth than it is to lie about your motivations at the time to stay silent then. Plus, it would save us the agony of having to hear you try to spin your way out of your decision.

1 comment:

MikeHahn said...

Hey Thomas,
I read you editorials and enjoy your writing. I've linked you to my website under the Blogroll. My site is new and hense unknown for the time being. That will change. Keep up the good work and one day, our time will come.

BTW: Now that the weather is warming up, it would seem that AlGore has surfaced once again only to appear on Capitol Hill, (as you alluded to) and let us all know that he had an epiphany during hibernation. "How can we dance while the Earth is burning" I hear HE burned the entire second edition printing of Inconvenient Truth, just to keep the cave warm during the record setting cold this past winter.

Best Regards,