Friday, March 30, 2007

Troops, Yes. War, No.

Plainly put: Being against the war in Iraq does not mean you're against the troops. A Congress trying to end a war and bring troops home is not anti-soldier. It's apples and oranges. We're into a fourth year of the Iraq War, and a large number of Americans have never supported it. Yet in the last four years I have not heard, even once, someone say something insulting or disparaging about an American soldier fighting overseas. They are treated as heroes who make the ultimate sacrifice so people like me can write this post. I have a feeling there are lots of people in this country who feel the war in Iraq was a mistake - but because they don't want to appear to be on the side of an anti-war movement that they consider to be unpatriotic or lefty, the easy out is, "I support the troops".
Everybody supports the troops. The question is not about the troops. It's about the war. You're either for it, or against it, and every American should say so and why (I believe it was a mistake from the start because it's hard to help people who hate you).

I have never been in combat. I can't pretend to know what it's like. But I feel I can make this guess - I don't think a soldier on the streets of Baghdad is thinking, "I hope people at home are supporting me." More accurately he's thinking, "People at home have no idea what's going on here, and I just want to get out alive."

We will see the White House painting the Congress as anti-troop often in the coming weeks as the debate over a pull-out heats up. Don't believe it. Republican or Democrat. Government or Citizen. Americans respect their soldiers. The argument is about the war.
For the record: I support doctors, but I'm aginst cancer.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Sgt. Sam Provance

Army Sgt. Sam Provance who has been marginalized by some for telling the truth about what happened at Abu Ghraib from an excerpt here at The Daily Dish

"It is more convenient for people not to care. By and large, they are far more prepared to accept official explanations than to take the trouble to find out what is really going on. For, if they found out, their consciences might require them to do something about it."

Full piece at Consortium News.

Sigh Of Relief

Chairman Kevin Martin announced recently that the FCC will give up it's plans to allow mobile phone usage during flights. I would like to be the first to say thank you for preventing all those future in-flight bare handed murders. All the studies regarding this change seem to have focused on the technical issues of providing this service. It's the psychological issues that they need to be looking at.
A level headed passenger who is subjected to an in-flight screening of "Little Man" and a yabbering phone user can be pushed to extreme acts of violence. Everybody has their breaking point.
Europe, on the other hand, is moving forward with their plans to allow phone usage during flights. Isn't Europe the place where the Gallagher brothers from the band Oasis fly planes? Good luck on that one. Can't wait to see what happens when a Greek and a Turk sit next to each other with mobile phones.

As for me, I only ask my aisle mate to quietly work on their Soduku puzzle and don't cough too much.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Odd News China

This from China Daily.

Role Reversal

The Onion is funny. Video here.

It Wasn't Me

I'm getting pretty tired of people who exhibit appalling behavior, and when they get busted for it, they say, "It was the alcohol and the drugs." Then they check into rehab and suddenly, they're off the hook. I don't buy it for a minute. When did rehab become a "get out of jail free" card?
The Insider's Pat O'Brien pulled this crap brilliantly last year on a trumped up Dr. Phil show that I needed to take a bath after watching. Guess what, Pat? - a glass of whiskey doesn't call up women and start slurring about cocaine and kinky sex. That was you.
Celebrities, religious leaders, and politicians have been playing this card with more frequency lately. If you're a jerk for six days and you check into rehab on Sunday, it's still a bad week.

Monday, March 26, 2007


This eerie item from Harper's Magazine:

From a November 10, 1962, letter by Rose Kennedy to her son, President John F. Kennedy, among 252 boxes of her notes and letters.

Dear Jack,
In looking over my old diary, I found that you were urged on one occasion, when you were five years old, to wish for a happy death. But you turned down the suggestion and said that you would like to wish for two dogs instead. So do not blame the Bouviers if John has similar ideas.
Much love, dear Jack.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Here is a cool Library of Congress website with color photos of life in America from 1939 to 1945.

Healthy Religion

Early for the 2008 election, but I think this quote from Barack Obama is a healthy take on religion:

"I think this is the historical moment we're in — we have come to define religion in absolutist, fundamentalist terms. So to be a believer is to be a fundamentalist in some fashion. And I guess what I was trying to describe is a faith that admits doubt, and uncertainty, and mystery. Because, ultimately, I think that's how most people understand their faith. In fact, it's not faith if you're absolutely certain. There's a leap that we all take, and, when you admit that doubt publicly, it's a form of testimony.
Then what I think it does is it allows both the secular and the religious to find some sort of common space where we say to each other, Well, I may not believe exactly what you do, what you believe, but I share an experience in wondering what does my life mean, or I understand the desire for a connection to something larger than myself. And that, I think, is in the best of the United States religious tradition."

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Environmental Protection

Cows do their part to save the planet!

Janet's Boob. Now This.

Just go ahead and rename the "Super Bowl Halftime Show" the "Permanent Damage Show". Check this.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Some insight into insurgency from someone who has been there.

That's Entertainment

A reader responds to the latest Coulter post:

While I do not disagree with Mr. Du Monde’s assessment of the response to certain of Ann Coulter’s remarks, I do find error in the apparent assertion that she is somehow an individual expressing sincere political, social or moral values. Let us not be too child-like on our worldview. Ann Coulter is first and foremost an entertainer. Her daily bread is earned in a trade of shock and titillation. Members of this profession do not concern themselves with the difference between wrong or right. Their focus is upon spanning the distance between wrong and fun. Ms. Coulter is a champion of American society in the same way that Randy the Macho Man Savage is a champion of sport.

"Faster, Spector! Kill! Kill!"

Meinhart lobbies for total chaos - Hollywood style - with this scenario right out of a Russ Meyer movie:

"The Spector case, while tragic, is a perfect illustration of the dangers our nation shall face as we become a people disarmed. “When guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns!”

How many more five-foot-eleven inch blond bombshells must die at the hands of insane, reclusive music producers before we say enough is enough? “A Bersa for Each Purse-a” I say! “Give Goldie Locks a Pair of Glocks!” If only obtaining a concealed weapons permit in the State of California were as easy as obtaining fake breasts... Perhaps then the Barbarian Queen would still be with us.

It should sicken every feeling citizen that the young starlets who breathe life into works like ‘Sorority Vampires,” “Death Thong” or “Libido Creature” must live in fear of being murdered while scoring drugs off of horny old moguls!"

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Coulter Whirlwind

Some thoughts from Louis Lesko of louis du monde on the Ann Coulter debate:

Anne Coulter's recent debacle at the CPAC event was not nearly as tragic as the response that it generated from the various denizens in the media and on the internet. I have never seen so much profanity used to decry the momentary gaffe of another person. It saddens me that someone like Miss Coulter could not see the absolute distaste of her comment. But it saddens me even more when so many responses to her indiscretion resort to far worse derogatory language and generalizations. It is just not necessary.

There is not a person alive who has gone through life not regretting something they said. Once one realizes that an unfortunate articulation of words has hit the ears of others, I feel that they should have opportunity to apologize. Not that Miss Coulter has, but she barley had a chance before the blogosphere was alight with its criticisms. Sadly, Coulter supporters made it more difficult for her to set things straight when they tried to assign some credence to her faux pas by calling her comments a stand against political correctness. That contention is ridiculous. But now we have the "if one says it, they all believe it" mentality. Robert Scheer's blog post on the Huffington Post starts out as an endorsement of Mr. Edwards, the target of Miss Coulter's comment, and ends up as an excoriating statement about the attendees of CPAC and the Right.

It was as if all the brutal respondents to Miss Coulter's gaffe were vicious
dogs restrained on a leash and the leash broke with her remarks. This was the mistake of a single person not the belief of everyone who prefers to vote Republican. It is irresponsible to make those kinds of parallels and smacks of the same type of generalizing that Miss Coulter employed.
Worst of all, the rhetoric currently circulating has done nothing to shed some
light on issues of the group that should be the most offended by this event - the gay community. There has got to be a point in the evolution of this country that a couple that has chosen to be committed to each other through thick and thin is recognized as just that. A devoted couple. My gosh, homosexuality has been around as long as mankind.

As for Miss Coulter, if she can muster up an apology, I think we should listen. The freedom of this country is dependent on all of us exercising a measure of tolerance. If she can not, then her fan base will probably dwindle, and she'll have to get a new job.
Responding to her comments is a good thing. Technology and freedom of speech make it possible to have a forum. But, casting dispersion upon an entire group of people that Miss Coulter is associated with portrays this country as a land of two herds with only two beliefs. This type of categorizing is for the mainstream news media who have yelled themselves into a spiral of banality.

As to the rest of us who post to the web, we have a real opportunity to
demonstrate in an intelligent way what I have found to be manifest in my travels around the United States. The true majority of this country is made up of lot of people with differing beliefs. All of which are valid and interesting. To dismiss any ones unique ideas because of the way they vote is to rob us all of the greatest asset this country has to offer.

The freedom to be an individual.


From the Harper's Index:
Amount by which Judge Judy exceeds the salaries of all nine Supreme Court justices combined: $26,000,000

Friday, March 16, 2007


This month the trial of Phil Spector gets underway. The music producer who pioneered the "Wall of Sound" is charged with the murder of Lana Clarkson at his mansion in Alhambra, California. It is a trial about what happens when you point a gun at people too many times.
All we know for sure is that a blithering night of clubbing and drinking ended with Clarkson dead from a gunshot wound. What happened is no surprise. Spector has had many long years of erratic psychotic behavior.
Clarkson was no naif. She was a 40 year old actress and hostess who had been around. I'm sure she was savvy enough to know the treachery of Hollywood nightlife. Because she was employed by the House of Blues where she was hostessing the night she died - and Spector is part owner of the club - she may have felt obligated to accompany a too-drunk Spector back to is home. I suspect she intended to leave soon after arriving at the Spector madhouse. That isn't as easy as it seems. Spector is disturbingly skilled at keeping visitors trapped in his house. Talk about abandonment issues.

When did the "Wall of Sound" turn into the "Wall of Crazy"? A long time ago. There is a long list of witnesses that have found themselves imprisoned in his malfunctioning world.
In 1979, seminal punk band The Ramones worked with Spector on their album End Of The Century. In a documentary of the same name, guitarist Johnny Ramone describes a confrontation with Spector that eerily mimics what probably happened to Clarkson the night of her death. Spector's abrasive behavior is made inescapable by doors locked from the outside. Any expressed desire to leave is met with an irrational Spector sticking one of his guns in your face. Johnny basically told Spector to "fuck off" and asked, "Whataya gonna do, kill me?" The answer is possibly yes. Fortunately for him, he was able to get out of there...not the case for Lana Clarkson.
If you drunkenly point a gun at somebody enough times, eventually it's going to go off. That's no accident.

Too Much Government

Keep government out of our bedrooms and our ears. Blog columnist Louis Lesko tells some truth.

L.A. Times (Lets Get Stupid)

Well, it's official. This Sunday, The Los Angeles Times (as owned by The Tribune Company) will launch their new section into the the world of the unenlightened (See related post). Called "Image" (not "Substance"), the Times announced the new section today. From their full page ad:

"Now arriving. Fashionably up-to-date. Image. Launches this Sunday. There's a new section dedicated to covering the world of style from a SoCal perspective - from surfer casual to red-carpet glamour, from the hottest sample sales to the freshest beauty tips. With Image, know what's now and how to get it. FASHION/BEAUTY/STYLE/SHOPPING"

Great. But if I wanted to kill brain cells, I'd start smoking crack. I know this change makes the editors' (real journalists) skin crawl. Many have already left the Times already. So here's a message to the new owners:

Read about the Fourth Estate. Briefly, the press, by keeping an independent eye on government, is part of our Democracy.
So while soldiers fight wars overseas, and the Justice Department doesn't function properly, and the government slowly dismantles people's rights, and the nation's finances are destroyed, and laws are passed in violation of the Constitution, and politicians function outside the rules of our laws, and great American principles of justice are compromised ... thanks for being my watchdog by telling me where to shop for a cool T-shirt that surfers wear.
What's next for the once mighty Los Angeles Times? A new section called "Hooters"?

Subscription information for the New York Times can be found here.


And this to wrap-up the unicorn debate:

It’s bad enough that people scoff at the idea of unicorns, but it’s even worse that some folks feel the need to disparage the well-respected “Unicorn Defense.” Should we throw away all of our great, time-honored legal tactics such as the “A Leprechaun Impregnated my Prom Date Defense,” or the “Pixies Doused me in Tequila and Stole my Pants Defense,” or the “A Poltergeist Pinched your Fine Booty Defense” or the “Bigfoot Pooped Through my Mother-in-law’s Sunroof Defense?” I hope not.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Unicorns are probably real, but....

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

In Defense Of Unicorns

Perhaps we shouldn't be so quick to say something isn't real.
Meinhart the (now) Non-Denominational argues:

To me the article regarding the “Unicorn Defense” represents the annoying tendency of our society to smile and wink knowingly while knowing nothing at all!!! Are we really so arrogant as to believe simply because our “modern” science has yet to “discover” and “describe” a creature that the creature does not exist?

The history of human/unicorn interaction is well documented. There is ample evidence in texts dating back to the middle ages and in numerous books popular with awkward, pasty young boys. Also, accounts in the oral traditions of native North Americans unmistakably indicate a familiarity with creatures such as the unicorn. The Cree even have a name for the animal; Pasco Wenatchee Omak Okanogan Tonasket Kennewick Multnomah Chehalis Walla Walla Yakima Pasco Osooyis hah! Which, roughly translated, means: “Man, that Ren and Stimpy sure are funny… Holy Great Spirit! Dude, did we finish off all that peyote? Hey, what’s that in the bushes?!?!”
Obviously it is time for some people to wipe off the smug smirk and open their eyes to reality.


"But the greatest menace to our civilization today is the conflict between giant organized systems of self-righteousness - each system only too delighted to find that the other is wicked - each only too glad that the sins give it the pretext for still deeper hatred and animosity." - Herbert Butterfield

Bad Unicorns

I thought unicorns weren't real. Now this!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Fame, notoriety, and the ability to influence others often provides its possessors with great power. As this power grows it can change those who wield it - and more notably, affect for what purpose this influence is used for. Some people use power with good intentions. Some people don't. Others begin with good intentions and are then corrupted by it and slowly turn toward a darker agenda.
Case in point, Ann Coulter whose malicious jokes at CPAC recently have people wondering if she's gone too far.
Coulter claims she was just joking, but some jokes are hostile. The reasoning behind why what she said is unacceptable was explained eloquently last week by Andrew Sullivan of The Daily Dish here.
Controversy is good for the business Coulter is in. Nobody knows this better than her. But calling somebody "ugly" or a "faggot" doesn't rally more people behind your cause. Coulter seems to have reduced her message to just plain anger. Is her dark side consuming anything decent left in her? Maybe. Her latest salvo damaged her standing, but she won't lose her most ardent fans (Orcs, Trolls, Goblins, and Dark Wizards).

Religious Conflict

A reader comments on the conflict between Shiite and Sunni:

Your link to the article regarding Muslim on Muslim violence made for fascinating reading. This passage struck me; "The major difference is that for Shi`is he has already been here, and will return from hiding; for Sunnis he has yet to emerge into history: a comeback v. a coming out, if you will." Sound familiar?

It is unfortunate that the ill-begotten fruit of Abraham’s loins cannot extend the same respect and tender sentiments toward each other that Christians have historically demonstrated toward the Jews.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Medieval Tech Support

Mankind made the switch from typewriters to computers a long time ago, but apparently the transition from scrolls to books was even more challenging. Next time you're at work, and you call the Help Desk with computer trouble, it goes something like this clip from a show on Norwegian television.

Self-Timer Art

A fellow blogger created this cool site of fun photographs. True art!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

S versus S

Because U.S. soldiers are right in the middle of it, everyone in America should understand this.

What People Want

Meinhart's response and thoughts on media:

Well, Cellophane, you almost got it right! Televised news is a mess. However, it is a mess because it is not, like all of our most venerable institutions such as high school sports and the nuclear family, shame based. Andy Rooney aside, there are but few on the air who convey the proper sense of contempt so crucial to guiding the Great Unwashed.

Now, I am not saying that television news should not try to shock and frighten the audience – it certainly should. But what must be made clear to viewers is that the reason they face inescapable disaster is because they are utter failures as human beings. In other words, it is important that each and every last man, woman and child of this nation be terrified that they will perish in a terrorist plot. But it is even more important for every man, woman and child to anguish over the fact that it is their flaws of character that have sealed their hideous fate.

I have a great appreciation for your disgust with the media and hope that this correspondence will help you to better focus your disdain and perhaps implement it in other areas of your life.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Cellphones and The Almighty

"Meinhart the Lutheran" gets the urge to speak for God:

As you may or may not know, Lutherans are actually the Chosen People of God – just ask any Lutheran. I was raised in a Lutheran household and, while I may have strayed from the Church in recent decades, I still consider myself to be, like, one of God’s top ten or twelve favorite people in all of creation.

It is for the above stated reason that I feel uniquely qualified to comment on God’s opinion of mankind’s cellphone usage: It maketh him most wrathful! Now, he is not upset that folks are smashing up their cars or walking into traffic whilst absorbed in their wireless communication (on the contrary; more souls to snicker at as they burn in eternal hell fires!) What God finds most displeasing about our Nextels and Nokias are the blasted ring tones. You see, God created cellphones to have one ring-tone for life and one ring-tone only. It was not his intention for a phone to one day ring “ Caribbean ” and the next day “Smack Dat” – it is unnatural and maketh a very un-joyous noise unto the Lord.

If you require any further clarification of Our Father’s wishes, and I am not available for comment, please consider the following prayer.

Lead me oh, Lord. Lead me.
Lead me in thy righteousness.
Maketh the best service plan clear before my face
For it is you and you alone oh, Lord
Who leadeth me to dwell in extra minutes.

May the Lord bless thee and keep thee.
May he make his face to shine upon thy coverage area and be gracious unto thee.
May he lift up his countenance upon thee
And give thee a connection.



Anybody who saw the film Network back in 1976 when it was released, knows that it is a great piece of movie making. To revisit it today, it is stunning how accurately the film's writer, Paddy Chayefsky, predicted the future of television. There are lines of dialogue about how explosions and terrorism make great television.

Many critics and viewers saw the film as a satire in it's depiction of TV as exploitation and sensationalism. Chayefksy and director Sidney Lumet didn't see it as a satire. They knew better. The film is still the most accurate depiction of the current world of network television - made thirty years ago. In interviews, Lumet only regrets the fact that Chayefsky, who died in 1981, isn't around to see how right he was.

Kosher Cellphones

Interesting article from the WSJ about religious cellphones with services like "holy hip-hop" ring tones.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death

Tim Meinhart sums up the global warming question:

If the recent outrage over Al Gore’s Oscar and the resulting outrage at the outrage over Al Gore’s Oscar has underscored one thing, it is our society’s unwavering commitment to outrage.
This is fortunate because as we all know serious problems are best solved by catastrophising. A state of utter panic is necessary if we are to accomplish anything as a species.

Clearly, our environment is changing. And while we are all aware that our climate has not remained perfectly static for the last few billion years, the news that it is not presently static should send us into hysterics. Any other set of emotions would be highly inappropriate.

On the other side of the coin, it is important that we be completely fear stricken by the thought of the horrid mess our lives will become if we are to make any effort at controlling the befouling of our own planet. Talk about inconvenient. Lefties yammer on about famine, but I’d like to see them try and order take-out in a world without combustion engines!

Anyhow, I’m glad to see that mankind, whether liberal or conservative, will tackle this problem with all of the common sense we’ve exercised in the past!

No Way Out

I'm afraid this is probably true. From Daily Kos yesterday:

The administration, fearing being tarred with a failed and unnecessary war, has determined that the only way to avoid having the war be branded as failure after it ends is to simply make sure, for as long as possible, that it does not end.

Read the full article here.


Mike Judge's film, Idiocracy (now on DVD), imagines a future where people are so culturally dumbed down that two average people from present day who travel there are treated as geniuses. This funny film is an obvious statement on the current state of things. Twentieth Century Fox released the film with virtually no press or promotions - big media is skewered effectively throughout the movie, and it may have hit a nerve.
An important first step toward this future was taken recently with the debut of Fox's, "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" hosted by Jeff Foxworthy. It's a game show on which adults answer grade school questions to feel better about themselves. In Scott Collins' Los Angeles Times column, Foxworthy is quoted, "I'm in the grocery store, and a 50-year old guy comes up to me - and he goes, 'I only missed one question last night.' He was really proud of himself."
This is a grown man who felt good about himself because he almost answered all the elementary school questions correctly. Of course the show pulled in huge ratings and will undoubtedly be a hit - so get ready to play. Quickly! Is the world round or flat?

Thoughts on "The War"

A concerned American weighs in on the Swiss accidentally invading Liechtenstein:
"It's like Alan Alda inadvertently taking Betty White's parking space..."

The War on Gore

A reader takes on Al Gore:

"... One, there is actual dispute as to whether and how much warming is going on. Two, it is not at all settled science that any warming is anthropogenic. Third, the potential cost of remedying any problem is significantly worse than the underlying problem."
"Further, they don't consider how many millions will starve to death when farmers are forced to buy green equipment, reduce fossil fuels, use corn for ethanol, etc. Gore is dangerous, which is why he must be stopped!"

I agree with some of this, and it touches on an important point that forms the basis of my opinion on the topic. I understand the movement behind denying global warming. Changes to avert its problems can seriously affect how people do business and harm the bottom line. This is strong motivation to resist the growing momentum of public opinion. On the other side of the argument are hundreds of scientists from around the world claiming the problem is real. If global warming is real (and possibly man-made), what's in it for them to say so? Because there is no clear gain for scientists if it does exist, I have an easier time believing them.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

What's up with the Swiss aggression?

More 9/11 Conspiracy

Jennifer Elliot comments:
... I find it very draining, not unlike driving a huge SUV with a lead foot, that people waste their time (and ours) with outrageous stories about how the CIA wired explosives in the Twin Towers while everyone was out to lunch. Is it too far fetched to believe that there are people out there who hate Americans? I think all citizens should be open minded about what their government is really up to, but to pin 9/11 on Bush and Co. is really giving them too much credit.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Upside Down Hockey

I don't think this will catch on in America.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Don't Be Hatin'

Al Gore has been getting a heck of a lot of attention lately for his Oscar winning film "An Inconvenient Truth" and its message about global warming. The planet's temperature may have risen a tick from the extremely warm reception on Oscar night. Gore keeps saying the film's topic is a non-party issue, but all the praise has his detractors crackling for revenge.
As expected, a "conservative think tank" has rattled off a "study" claiming that the Gore family burns too much energy in their Nashville home. The claims have been disputed.
This smacks of sour grapes. Of course Gore would be well received at the Oscars. Gore at the Oscars with an environmental film is like Cheney at a country club paying everyone's greens fees. You go where the love is.
It's okay to question science, but we all know Gore is essentially telling the truth. He shouldn't be attacked for it. He has taken up a decent cause, and he's doing good things (i.e. he's not shooting an elderly friend in the face with a shotgun). Do we really need to expend so much energy attacking an ex-Vice President who is trying to save energy?

The Los Angeles Times

In Los Angeles, The Times is going through quite a rough patch. With people getting their news in so many new ways, they have lost readers and profits. Similar problems have beset papers in San Francisco and many cities across the country.
The Los Angeles Times was sold to Chicago based Tribune Company recently, and they have been throwing editors and reporters overboard to save the bottom line. As a publicly traded company, they are pressured by stockholders to operate at a twenty percent profit.
Their solution is to reduce reporters by covering local news more than international news. This is insulting to a newspaper with such a long standing international tradition. The new owners want to focus on "style" topics while pulling the paper's reporter out of Baghdad (The only U.S. news agencies that still have a permanent reporter in Baghdad are the New York Times, The Washington Post, National Public Radio, and the Los Angeles Times). Get ready for more"Interior Decorating" and less "War in Iraq."
There are several local wealthy individuals who want to buy the paper and preserve it's integrity. They are willing to operate at an eight percent profit. They don't need the money. Interested parties include Eli Broad, David Geffen, and members of the Chandler family who ran the paper successfully for decades.
For now Tribune is not selling. I hope they do.

9/11 Conspiracy (not)

To my dismay, there are people floating around my world who believe 9/11 was a government conspiracy. I'm sorry, but I just don't buy it.

If the goal was to get Americans okay with attacking Iraq, there's got to be a simpler way to do it. Theories about missile attacks and building demolition teams in New York would require a lot of conspirators. How do you get these people?

These so called "Black Ops" soldiers are just that - soldiers. Soldiers are patriots. So while recruiting these dozens of soldiers, when you sit them down and tell them what the plan is, I bet more than a few wouldn't want any part of it. So what do you do with those who say "No"? You either put them on a rocket ship and launch them to the moon or take them down the hall and kill them because, guess what - THEY MIGHT TELL SOMEBODY.

Also, if I were a Conspiracy Consultant, and I got called into a secret meeting in a White House basement, and someone pitched the "Blow up the WTC and Pentagon" idea, that's when I would raise my hand and ask, "Can we come up with a plan that achieves the same goal without killing thousands of Americans?"

Wouldn't you?

A reader writes:

Your views on "Maher and Religion" are insightful and well-timed as we are in the season of Lent. I think it is interesting that every Easter season some story pops up that tries to demystify or discount religion...especially the Catholic church. This season it was undoubtedly the story of James Cameron and "his" discovery of Jesus H. Christ's coffin. I guess that in Hollywood, as well as history, timing is everything.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Maher and Religion

HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” is one of the few shows I watch regularly. It’s funny and informative, and I agree with most of Maher’s views. One thing I think he gets wrong, however, is his sweeping view of religious people as quacks. He sees religion as a belief in the supernatural and not a faith in basic moral principles. I’m a moderate Catholic, and I had my children baptized, not because I’m sure that God spoke to Moses as a burning bush, but because I think the lessons of the Bible are guides you can apply to your everyday life – basic lessons of good will and common decency.
For all I know, the Bible may merely be the great artistic work of its time that resonated with its audience – think “Gone With The Wind” or, even better, “It’s A Wonderful Life”.
America returns to that film every holiday season – not necessarily because they believe that Clarence the Angel is real, but because they connect with the film’s basic message of family, friendship, and generosity.
I’m all for being skeptical, but Maher dwells on religion as a practice of the occult and often misses the point. It’s not about whether these stories from the past really happened or not – it’s about taking their meaning for the future.