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Saturday, May 14, 2005

We Didn't Want His Support Anyway

When told that Bob Graham, a former US senator and Florida governor, had endorsed Rep. Jim Davis for the 2006 Democratic gubernatorial primary, state Sen. Rod Smith's rival campaign responded by saying that "endorsements from politicians aren't going to be a big factor in this race."

Yeah -- having the most popular living Democrat in the state endorse your opponent, who is already trouncing you in the polls, is meaningless. Just keep telling yourself that, Rod.

But remember, Rod, if you lose this race, no more free rides in Uncle Clark's yacht.

Defining America, Part I: The Wonder Bride

This is my first installment from a new series titled, Defining America.

From The Associated Press, via CNN: "A man who auctioned off a slice of toast carved with his drawing of the runaway bride feels burned because the winning bidder has refused to pay for the item."

Here's the skinny -- A New Jersey bloke carves the "likeness" of Jennifer Wilbanks, the now infamous runaway bride, on a slice of Wonder Bread, bids it for sale on e-Bay and gets a winning $15,400 bid. He goes on national TV to exchange the slice for the dough, and the buyer renegs.

You can guess what will happen next, but I'll let CNN fill in the blank: "The purchaser reneged on the sale," (bread artist Perry) Lonzello told The Star-Ledger of Newark, adding that the man was no longer returning his calls. "He said he was goofing around. I think some legal action will be coming out of this."

Runaway bride = media circus = cheap white bread portrait = high-tech contract for purchase = lawsuit. Now, if only Congress will step in to complain about the activist judge who presides over the case, the event will serve as a socio-political snapshot of America as it stands, as long as it remains standing I suppose.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Dems Misunderstand Impact of Military Recuitment Woes

News that the US military branches are having trouble recruiting new volunteers has Democrats atwitter, but for the wrong reasons. They claim that the recruiting woes might make America "weaker", or, as Jay Bookman of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution put it today, could mean trouble for "the Army's long-term ability to perform its duties worldwide."

Bookman quotes poll numbers that show only 41 percent of Americans think the war is worthwhile, with 57 percent saying it is not. "And if Americans do not believe the war worthwhile, they're not likely to sign up to fight in it," Bookman writes.

Dems are always looking for an opening in Bush's armor, but this is not a Dem vs. GOP issue. The problem with the Iraq invasion is not that it is bogging down our military or hurting military recruitment goals – the problem is that the invasion was based on a campaign of deception to mask its true goal of ensuring corporate profits and power worldwide.

Imperialism is not, unfortunately, the sole domain of Bush and Co. Remember it is the Carter Doctrine that cemented our national interests in Middle East oil, and that President Clinton presided over the sanctions and bombings in Iraq that killed as many or more than has Bush's invasion.

And recall that Sen. John Kerry, during the presidential debates, promised only to fight the so-called "war on terror" harder than Bush and to stay in Iraq until the job was finished, without outlining what that meant.

If the media would focus harder on the real reasons for the invasion – say, at least with the same vigor and scrutiny it used covering the Terri Schiavo case – then popular support for the Iraq invasion would be even less.

More important, if the government would be less concerned with using the military to support US corporate interests across the globe, then we wouldn't need so many new volunteers. Currently the US spends as much on its military as does every other nation on the planet combined. It is not because we're more threatened or face invasions or attacks. Our forces are stationed all over the world, not defending America at home.

If anything, fewer military recruits might force the US to delay its invasion of Iran. Better still, it might force the government to institute a draft, at which point Americans will ask (loudly I hope), "why?" It's one thing when volunteers get sent to die for a lie, but it's quite another thing when your kids are being forced to do it. If it gets to that point, maybe people will start re-examiinng what Bookman called America's "duties worldwide."