Monthly Archives: December 2006

Then vs. Now

I wandered over to newscoma’s site this morning, and her post reminded me that my father enlisted in the Army and fought the Japanese during WWII. He wasn’t even a citizen. My mother, another non-citizen, worked in factories producing spare parts for various types of vehicles used in the war. When I was young, I placed little value on the stories they told of this time in their lives. They rarely spoke of the hardships, rather, they spoke almost fondly of a time when virtually every American participated in some way in the war effort. People rationed supplies, and didn’t complain. The odds were that you knew someone on your street that had lost a son, or husband, or brother, and there was a shared experience of loss, but also a shared experience of purpose. How different the American war experience is today. The men and women who volunteer to serve and fight love this country as much as their grandparents did, and this war will produce it’s share of heros. But the uncomfortable truth is that the rest of us may be different. It should be said that I do not believe that our young should be in Iraq, but the fact is that they are indeed there, and I have to wonder how many of us would gladly absorb a tax increase or ration gas if it meant our troops had all that they needed. Anyway, I too will join in Newscoma’s call to President Bush to bring our soldiers home, so that we can begin the shared experience of healing.

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Lies, damn lies, and statistics

I’m relunctant to call attention to this woman or her website, as most of the time I find her amusing in a sad sort of way. Lately, though, she has begun to morph from pitiful to somewhat dangerous, mostly because she lacks the intellectual heft to distinguish between legitimate concerns regarding immigration, and mindless nativism. I say dangerous because she has this curious fascination with guns, and I think she considers herself some sort of Super Patriot, doing all she can to sound the alarm over the advancing brown invasion. Her post today poses the question “is illegal immigration more of a threat to “us” than terror”? To support this idiotic claim, she points to some rather dubious statistics, then as source she links to this sorry excuse for an elected official. He doesn’t even bother to attempt to link to credible sources to support his shrill assertions. She asks her readers to “do the math.” According to Rep King, 13 people a day are killed by drunk drivers who happen to lack documention to be here legally. So, I multiplied that number by 365, (cuz, you know, we never take a day off from our devious plan to wage a war of attrition on our nation’s highways), and came up with 4,745 deaths. Her logic tells her that since 4745 is higher than the number killed fighting terror, drunk undocumented people are ipso facto more of a threat. Let’s run with that a minute…According to what is arguably the oldest drunk driver watchdog group in the world, MADD, the total number of alcohol related traffic fatalities in 2005 was 16,881. Of that number, drivers between the ages of 15-20 removed 6,409 souls from the planet, and male drivers mowed down an alarming 9,988. In addition, between Thanksgiving and New Years, we lost 3,511. So, in doing my math, I have concluded that male drivers, young drivers, and the Holiday Season are all more of a threat than “the war on terror.” Who knew? I should add the disclaimer that I am using only American dead,(as she is) but I’m pretty sure that the tens of thousands of Iraqi families that have lost members to this farce of a war would take issue with this construct.

I suppose I should point out to her the big red herring here, that a person’s legal status has absolutely ZERO to do with their inclination to commit crime. I said this months ago, when the nativists were all pointing to Gustavo Reyes as the poster child for immigration failure, when in fact, it was a failure of our courts to imprison this man well before he amassed his lengthy criminal record. But, after reading her website, I’m pretty sure the logic would be lost on her. I can’t bring myself to get into the whole gun/penis envy thingy…

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Gotta say this, I really do

I hate word verification. Most of the time, I have trouble distinguishing the letters, i’s and l’s, for example, so inevitably I get it wrong, and have to start all over. So, I started wondering, how many people just don’t bother to get into the “settings” of their blogger account to turn this decidedly inconvenient feature off? Surely most bloggers don’t get enough traffic to warrant having this extra security feature, do they? I mean, I like Chris Wages’s word verification model, if I had to pick one. My browser remembers it for me, and since it never changes, it barely slows me down. As I discover more and more good blogs, and, as I feel that it is polite to comment when someone posts something heartfelt, I waste a fair amount of time proving I’m not a spammer, or whatever. Anybody else find this annoying, or even a tad pretentious?

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Own a piece of Sarcastro


I like Sarcastro. Aside from our kids, though, we have little in common. I think he’s a damaged, bullying corporate apologist, he thinks I’m a whiny goody goody that reads pop political authors. Fair enough, I say, we don’t have to see eye to eye to be friends. So it has been a mixed bag for me to watch his cyber yard sale unfold. I actually plunked down a few bucks for a sportcoat that would make Herb Tarlek blush. The washer and dryer set were nice, and I considered bidding on them, but I would have had to convert them from gas to propane, and I didn’t feel like it. Still, they are fine appliances. Right after they went on the block, it started getting a tad surreal for me. Who offers a kayak for sale, then photographs it upside down? Is this to let the potential buyer know that perhaps it is wise to perfect the “roll”? And its BLACK, for heavens sake. Then he offers up what has to be the ugliest damn chiminea I have ever laid eyes on, it’s gaping maw made it look like something from a Tim Burton movie. Shudder. I was ok with the various pieces of Americana, which he labeled bric a brac, I actually thought some of it was kinda cool. Then came the kicker. A framed poster from the HBO miniseries, The Brotherhood. He explained that his new wife (thankfully) put her foot down because it didn’t go with any of “her stuff.” He must have lobbied hard to get to keep his poster from Black Hawk Down. But here is where the admiration kicks in. He priced it, unflinchingly, at 200 dollars. American. Cash and goddam carry, baby. No OBO, thats my price, and you will pay it to own this piece of my life. Ballsy, and possibly brilliant. In fact, I am willing to deliver the damn thing to whomever buys it, cause I really want to meet THAT GUY. So, wander over, browse at your leisure, and load up the PayPal account, you won’t want to miss out on this. Yes, I purposely didn’t bring up the couch…theres no way he was serious, really.

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