I've lost three good friends during the War on Terror. And I write about the others to ensure that we don't forget their sacrifices - I do that for me as much as for anybody.
It's important to remember them, and it's just as important to enjoy yourself this weekend. To spend time with your family and friends.
What better assurance to them they did not die in vain?
Enjoying your freedom and understanding it's value is the best way to honor the sacrifices of my friends.
That's the way they'd want you to spend Memorial Day.
Remembering them, and being a good dad and husband and an American is the best way that I can honor their memory.
Friday, May 27, 2005
Iraqi Kurds who worship Lucifer (I kid you not!) want their religious freedom protected in the new Iraqi constitution.
At the same time, an American judge is depriving American nature-worshippers of their constitutional rights to practice their religion. (ht: Captain's Quarters)
Something is very, very wrong with this picture.
ROME (Reuters) - A judge has ordered best-selling writer and journalist Oriana Fallaci to stand trial in her native Italy on charges she defamed Islam in a recent book.Hm... According to Italian Judge Armando Grasso, you can't criticize homosexuals, and you can't criticism Islam .... a religion which condones the beheading of homosexuals.
Hat tip: CDR Salamander
I'm losing my patience with these people.
Thursday, May 26, 2005
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Monday, May 23, 2005
It's a better movie the second time around. Much better, actually. Most of the emotional "stuff" mostly works, now that I look at it again. And knowing that it's coming, I can play the lines that annoyed me last time in context (they're STILL contradictory).
The only really flat spot was the too-sudden turn of Anakin to the Dark Side. I just don't buy the transition from, "What have I done?!?" to, "I dedicate myself to your teaching." We also don't see Anakin "growing in power," as he tells Padme' he is.
Oh, I noticed that Jar-Jar appears twice, not just once. Dang.
And I missed the Millenium Falcon's cameo. Guess I'll have to go see it again. (I am SUCH a sucker!)
Friday, May 20, 2005
Ok, Ok, already. It's only a movie, and only a Star Wars movie at that. It's not in the same league as Oliver Stone rewriting history with "JFK." Fluff and popcorn.
George Lucas has earned millions by providing terrific entertainment, and if he wants to take a cheap shot or two, well, it's a free country. I can ignore the cheap shots, or just engage my suspension of disbelief and interpret them in the context of the story (ignoring / accepting the pretzel logic of, "Only Sith deal in absolutes," just as I ignore / accept the wooden acting).
Besides, George W has actually changed the world, and for the better IMO. And regardless of what any moviemaker says about the nature of absolutes, I know the Real Story.
Ya know, it's Star Wars. My inner ten-year-old really just wants to see spaceships and robots and swordfights.
May the Force be with you.
Thursday, May 19, 2005
George, you sonufabitch, why did you do it?
28 years I've been a Star Wars fan. I saw the original on opening day way back in '77 when both of us had dark hair. I stood in line to see the sequels. I built the AMT (or was it Ertl?) T.I.E. fighter kit. Like every other male my age, I salivated over Carrie Fisher in a bronze bikini. Like the rest of the fans, I was horrified to discover that the ugly rumors about Darth Vader being the father of Luke were true.
I forgave you for the Ewoks, because their technology was so darn cool and because C3PO got some good lines off them.
Years later, I watched the videos with my kids. I bought them lightsabers, action figures, LEGOs, and Darth Vader Halloween costumes.
When the prequels came out, the visuals were so cool that I forgave you the idiotic plotline about mitichloridians, and even overlooked the foolishness of the "virgin birth" of Anakin.
I even didn't totally hate Jar-Jar.
We bought the DVDs and watched them over and over, soaking up the grand story and the incredible visuals.
For the past year, we've subscribed to the Hyperspace section of your website, eagerly awaiting each installment of the behind-the-scenes action. We avoided the unauthorized spoiler sites out of loyalty to the story. May 19th has been on the calendar since, well, forever.
And you had to go and ruin it all.
Three lines, George, three lines, each unneccesary.
#1: "He's got the Congress and the courts." - spoken by a Jedi explaining why the evil Chancellor cannot be removed legally. Clearly a cheap dig at President Bush and the Republican majority in the Congress. Of course, you could not have predicted that the film would be released on the eve of a showdown over judicial nominees. And it wasn't as cheap and obvious as "The Day After Tomorrow," but you certainly could have done it differently.
#2: Anakin (now Darth Vader): "Either you're with me, or you're my enemy." HELLOOOO? Don't tell me that's not a direct restatement of the Bush Doctrine.
#3: Obi-Wan (in response to #2): "Only the Sith deal in absolutes." And he draws his lightsaber to fight his former apprentice.
So what you're trying to say, it seems, George, is that those of us who DO believe in absolutes such as Good and Evil, Right and Wrong, are... SITH? The very EMBODIMENT of evil?
That's what you said, George. Yes, it's contradictory (more on that, perhaps much more, later), but it ...
it hurts, George.
You see, George, all those years while I was buying my kids Star Wars stuff, explaining to them how the grand saga was a tale writ large of falling and redemption, all those years, George...
I was attending church, George. (The past 15 years or so, at least.) Not namby-pamby spiritual-smorgasbord-ifitfeelsgooddoit "churches", George, but REAL churches. Places where the Gospel of Jesus Christ is proclaimed without shame or fear. Places where clear distinctions are drawn between Truth and Lie, between Good and Evil.
I believe in those things, George.
And until a couple of hours ago, I believed in Star Wars, too. I believed that Star Wars taught that Good ultimately triumphs over Evil.
But right now, George, I'm feeling more than a little sick, and a helluvalot disappointed. Because you could have given us those stunning digital FX, that classic-Star-Wars wooden acting, tied up all the loose ends, just as well without those three lines.
But you bastard, you had to go and do it. You just HAD to get your last digs in, and EFFIN' RUIN IT.
That in itself, a lesson is.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
So according to a website, al-Zarqawi is hacked at Condi Rice:
"Our belief entails that the sword and bullets are our way of holding dialogue with you."
Presumably the "you" refers specifically to Rice, though perhaps it refers generally to the Shi'a majority. (I wonder how they would have "held dialogue" with whoever Kerry would have tapped for Secretary of State?) If that's the case, then this non-Iraqi is clearly trying to foment an Iraqi civil war.
Yup, they realize the import of a stable and democratic Iraq.
Monday, May 16, 2005
Thursday, May 12, 2005
OK, read the headline, read the story, look at the (truncated) picture caption, then the extended caption.
A casual reading is, "oh, snap, not only is the insurgency growing, but they are getting more effective, and the US is STILL screwing up!"
Look just a *tad* bit deeper and it's clear that the insurents are getting less effective, more desparate, and that Us troops - as almost always - act with professionalism and restraint.
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Monday, May 09, 2005
"'We know the difference between opposing nominees and blocking nominees. We will oppose bad nominees, but we will only block unacceptable nominees,' Reid said."And what, Senator Reid, is the difference between a "bad" nominee and an "unacceptable" nominee? And what qualities in a "bad" nominee make him or her "acceptable"?
Back in the day Bill Cosby had a routine about kids and how irrational they were. He had a simple, two word explanation for their logic-defying behavior: "BRAIN DAMAGE!"
Friday, May 06, 2005
Monday, May 02, 2005
"George always says that he's delighted to come to these press dinners. Baloney. He's usually in bed by now. I'm not kidding. I said to him the other day, George, if you really want to end tyranny in the world, you're going to have to stay up later." "The amazing thing is that George and I were just meant to be. I was a librarian who spent 12 hours a day in the library, yet somehow I met George." "People often wonder what my mother-in-law is really like. People think she's a sweet, grandmotherly Aunt Bee type. She's actually more like Don Corleone." "I'm proud of George. He's learned a lot about ranching since that first year when he tried to milk the horse. What's worse, it was a male horse." "George's answer to any problem at the ranch is to cut it down with a chainsaw. Which I think is why he and Cheney and Rumsfeld get along so well."