Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Being Presidential Today

In my lifetime, there has been profound respect for the office of the President of the United States. We want to believe in the president, we want to think that he has our best intentions at heart, and we want to concern ourselves with issues more than politics.

It occurred to me also that what makes us recognize the office is through opposition. A king/dictator receives little dissent. President Putin in Russia, for instance decimates dissenting voices, and acts more like a strong-armed fascist, than he does the leader of a leading democracy. Reagan, Bush I, and Clinton, all faced tremendous opposition from the press, the people, and from congress during their tenures (since I was 3 when Reagan was shot, I only remember the Iran/Contra and S&L scandals, not the post-shooting lovefest). They also faced significant international issues with diplomacy and authority. None of this fits the Bush years until now.

Bush never seemed like a president. He came in under a cloud of suspicion and despite the protests of the majority of Americans. He proceeded to govern like a spoiled child on a shopping spree. His reign was even stranger after 9/11/2001, when the world propped him up, supported him, and gave him whatever he wanted, just because they were desperate for leadership, and Bush was the man with whom we were stuck. His defiance of public opinion, consensus, and scientific opinion, his opposition to all of those things that we all know for sure, and his brutal attempts to deceive and manipulate the country were criminal enough. But the worst was that we weren’t given the OK to oppose these suggestions. Instead, we were told that it was only an opinion or point of view to suggest that Bush was, in fact, lying. The media was using postmodern thought without actually thinking like postmoderns.

The media blackout of any opposition for the first three years of Bush’s presidency, and the following two years of describing factual opposition as ‘partisan’ and ‘radical’ left Bush looking not the least bit presidential. It is like calling a pampered CEO a good leader when he inherits a well-oiled machine and doesn’t run it into the ground (Hi, Jack Welch!).

In the midst of controversy, stiff opposition, and his first significant election loss (that he couldn’t steal), Bush is starting to look presidential. He has not only been humbled, but he is being forced to deal with reality as it stands, not as he dreams it. Middle East diplomacy, a fluctuating economy, and an environmental crisis have meant that Bush can’t lead with his usual ostrich approach.

Now if we can just punish the news media for allowing us to waste five years

It Finally happened!

Yes! The day finally arrived! The media has grown a test tube spine!

Last week, NBC and its affiliates announced that Iraq was, in their opinion, in the midst of civil war.

Like the dispute of whether or not to call the mass-slaughter of hundreds of thousands as well as the rape and displacement of millions in Darfur should be called “genocide”, the U.S. government, with the complicity of the media, has made the appropriate word or title the news story. I’m sorry, but it is almost too little too late, especially, since the announcement last Thursday didn’t make the issue center stage, it maintained the title-as-story reports on every other network.

It could be worse, I guess: they could still be parroting the president’s party line.

Let us take a moment to celebrate that the U.S. media is finally starting to catch up with what the entire world knows: Iraq is (and has been) in a civil war. Congrats, NBC! Better late than never! (wink wink, Fox!)

Saturday, November 25, 2006


I recently downloaded OpenOffice to use as my primary wordprocessor. Last night, as I was typing away, I typed the letters 'ana'. I was on the way to typing the word 'analogy' for my paper, but a different word popped on screen. OpenOffice has the feature that allows the computer to finish the word for you, so if it is the right word, it pops up highlighted, so all you have to do to accept it is to hit enter. So anyway, I was typing the letters 'ana' and this word popped up: analphabetapolothology. This is a word I have never typed in my life, did not appear anywhere in the text above or below, and is likely to not appear anywhere in my harddrive, save the spellcheck list. I decided to look up the word. From Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, I found 'analphabet', which means “a person who cannot read or white; illiterate.” It derives from Greek and means “not knowing the alphabet”. But what about the apolothology? I still have no clue. Can anyone help me? I just need to know what it means!


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Friday, November 24, 2006

Baseball and funnies

Do you like baseball?
Do you like humor?
Do you like baseball humor?

Go to
You'll laugh your ass off.