I hate the world a lot

by Ike Hettit, an honest liberal


I don't understand why we can't all just get along and hold hands and sing songs. If we treat everyone with respect and share everything, everything should be fine. What's the problem here?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Propaganda of Our Fathers

I haven’t seen Flags of Our Fathers, and I can guarantee you I never will. It’s a piece of propagandistic trash. Does Clint Eastwood have no shame? Another movie about WWII? Fine, tens of thousands of Americans, Canadians, Brits, and others gave their lives to put a stop to a worldwide threat to the overrated institutions of democracy and all that other stuff. We get it.

No, I won’t ever see the movie. But I have seen the commercial a few times, and I’m outraged. So should you be. We’re supposed to believe that one simple picture — the marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima — inspired a nation to get behind our troops in WWII? One picture suggested to America that we were winning, thereby galvanizing our morale, which helped our men and women defeat a worldwide danger to human rights? One picture? Is that all it takes?

First of all, it’s a cheap victory if we needed the aid of a picture of our marines hoisting a flag. This is like Barry Bonds using steroids — he doesn’t deserve his records, we didn’t deserve to end Nazism and Japanese imperialism.

Second of all, what is Eastwood really trying to say here? Is the implication that the mainstream media should occasionally acknowledge our positive steps in Iraq? That if they did so, our troops might be in a better position to win, because they wouldn’t have to constantly hear that the vast majority of us no longer seems to believe in what they’re doing?

No way. The media shouldn’t be bullied into this. The media is there to make sure we never consider the bigger picture, that we never consider anything more complicated than the fact that when there’s a war going on, bad things happen.

I’m no fan of the media, because they’re all pro-Bush lapdogs, but I must admit, just as I was with Katrina, I’m impressed with and thankful for their wonderfully mal-focused coverage of the war. You can always count on the media to follow (and irresponsibly exaggerate) nothing but the blood and guts, no matter how one-dimensional a strategy it is.

It is self-evident that America shouldn’t be in Iraq and Afghanistan, and it’s imperative that all Americans are convinced of this. So it’s good that most don’t know that significant areas of Iraq have been completely handed off to Iraqi security forces. It’s good that most don’t know that there’s only a handful of very chaotic regions that are anywhere close to resembling a civil war. It’s good that most don’t know that, contrary to the immoral three-month Battle of Normandy in which Allied forces lost approximately 17% of their soldiers “liberating” Europe, the immoral three-and-a-half-year campaign to “liberate” Iraq has cost America approximately 2% of its entire force.

And it’s good that, because the media focuses on little other than the worst of Iraq, people still think of Iraq as the bad war, Afghanistan as the good war, even though at this point there is hardly any difference between the two campaigns: Both are immoral battles against those who are fighting for freedom from the oppression of an open, elected representative government.

Hell no, it is not the media’s job to tell us anything positive about our wars. Flags of Our Fathers is nothing more than the usual Hollywood Bush-loving war propaganda that we see time and time again. For even hinting that the media might be able to do some good and help us win our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Clint Eastwood should be ashamed of himself.

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The Truth About Terrorism

They’re lying to us about terrorism. We’re perfectly safe. Think about it. Don’t you ever wonder why there aren’t terrorist attacks, of varying significance, every day in America?

It’s clearly not difficult to get a gun here. Even in countries that pretend to be gun-free, like Canada, anyone who really wants a gun can get one. So why hasn’t there been a jihadist with an AK-47 blowing people away from the top of a mosque? Or even from the top of a synagogue, for a dastardly irony to help underline his point?

Fine, I know, gunning people down might not be a couth method of killing people. I can respect that — it’s not very creative and you wouldn’t die with everyone. You’d have to decide when the best time would be to stop shooting at civilians and turn the gun on yourself. Your last decision before death would have to be when to stop murdering people. Who wants to go out on that kind of a downer? And who wants the pressure of deciding how many murders is enough?

But there are other things jihadists could do. For instance, how hard would it be to jump onto a bus, murder the driver, and take control of the vehicle? From there it would be pretty easy to swerve into oncoming traffic or barrel into an elementary school. Plenty would die and so would the hijacker. Sounds like a winner, but I suppose a potential problem is that all the violence might seem accidental or maybe even senseless.

So it seems we’re left with the traditional (and somewhat trite) method of suicide bombing. I’m no chemist, but it can’t be that hard to build small bombs. Kids mix dangerous chemicals in high school chemistry classes every day. It’s perfectly conceivable that a jihadist could acquire household chemicals, make a small bomb, and detonate it in a mall or a bank or someplace similar. Such a small bomb, however, might not obliterate enough people. Given that it can be hard to predict where very large groups of people will be from day to day when they’re going about their lives arrogantly minding their own business, a bigger bomb might be the only answer.

This seems a little difficult to pull off until we consider that the New York Times, CNN, and others have very clearly shown us as well as eager-to-learn terrorists that, among many other tips, it isn’t hard to smuggle a bomb into the country. In particular, cargo that comes through our harbors remains largely unchecked. Just ship 'er in!

So why aren’t there bombs going off here every day? Most believe that our security has been beefed up so that we’re better able to prevent such attacks. Hogwash. There’s little question that the Bush Administration doesn’t want us to be safe from terrorism, because the more attacks there are on American soil, the more people will want to retaliate and kill terrorists. And the more people want to retaliate and kill terrorists, the more they’ll want to keep the Bushies in power. It should be no surprise then that the New York Times, CNN, and others are educating potential terrorists on how to best attack America. After all, they’re nothing more than pro-Bush lapdogs.

I’ll tell you why there aren’t terrorist attacks here every day: Terrorism is largely a myth. Plain and simple. There’s nothing more than a miniscule amount of people who would be willing to kill innocents for the jihadist cause (and not one of them was ever in Iraq). And every one of them would be a decent, peace-loving person were it not for America’s selfish and conceited notion that Arabs are ready for and capable of democracy.

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Monday, October 23, 2006

The six most childishly upsetting scenes I saw as a kid...

Earthquake ruthlessly “Pearl Harboring” Hulk Hogan on the Brother Love Show

The ‘Quake gave Hogan about a million avalanche splashes. Hogan was severely injured. While he was away recuperating, Tugboat led the get-well-Hulk campaign, encouraging Hulkamaniacs to send Hogan cards and well-wishes.

Clark Kent getting the piss beaten out of him in the diner in Superman II after he’s given up his powers

I’ve gotten over this one by now, but when I was a kid, this scene would always inordinately upset me. It didn’t help that, as Lois is helping a bloodied and battered Clark to his feet, General Zod is on the TV calling out Superman and proclaiming to the world that he’s basically taken over. And there’s nothing that Clark can do about it...

Andre the Giant tearing Hulk Hogan’s necklace off on the Brother Love Show, as Hogan stares back at him with desperate and pained confusion

This led to one of the most famous matches ever: Hogan-Giant, Wrestlemania III, The Body Slam.

Goose dying

This one’s pretty self-explanatory. I hated watching this Top Gun scene when I was a kid. I’m thirty years old, and I still don’t like watching it.

Macho Man Randy Savage abandoning Hulk Hogan in the ring during a Mega Powers tag-team match on Saturday Night Main Event against the Twin Towers (Big Boss Man and Akeem the African Dream (who used to be the One-Man Gang))

Savage left the match in anger, because he was paranoid that his manager — the Lady Elizabeth, who strangely kept getting better looking as she aged — and Hogan had something secretly going on. Hogan was forced to improbably (i.e., predictably) pull out the victory by himself. Immediately after the match, he set off to work things out with Savage. As Hogan desperately — again with that pained confusion he was so good at — searched the backstage area for Savage, the show went off the air.

Optimus Prime dying

This was completely unnecessary. I never understood it for two main reasons. First, it doesn’t make sense from the perspective of the show’s creators. Transformers had been on TV for, what, two seasons when the movie came out? Doesn’t that seem a little early to make as drastic a change as killing off one of the greatest cartoon characters ever? And it’s not like they had a great replacement. Hot Rod? Or, sorry, Rodimus Prime? He wasn’t even a prominent character before the Transformers movie. Ultra Magnus would have been a much better choice to assume Autobot leadership, but alas, as he said himself, he wasn’t worthy.

One of the more prominent characters from the first two seasons would have been a less perplexing choice. I’d even go so far as to say that Bumblebee would have been a better choice than Hot Rod — at the very least people knew Bumblebee well and liked him, and his transition from likable sidekick to Autobot leader could have been compelling. They could even have written stories about Bumblebee’s (Beedimus Prime? Bumdimus Prime?) lighthearted relationship with Spike suffering because of the new and stressful duties of leading the Autobots.

Second, killing Optimus Prime doesn’t make sense within the framework of the show. In the Transformers series, characters would get shot all the time. It would hurt them, but they’d be okay. But in the movie, all of a sudden all the characters who are getting shot are dying. It isn’t a shot from Magatron’s arm-gun nor is it even a shot from Megatron in gun form that leads to Optimus’ death. Megatron shoots him with a random gun that’s lying around! This is how you kill off one of your flagship characters? At least give me some kind of super-powerful gun or something…

They brought Optimus Prime back later, but from what I remember it was bizarre. Wasn’t he insane or something like that? I think I’d lost interest by then. As I said, none of this ever made sense to me.

I Hate Bush (the President, Not the ... Y'know)

Can I just tell you that I hate President Bush? I really, deeply hate the man. We need to curb his power as soon as possible. Luckily, the mid-term elections are coming up. This is big. If enough good guys get into Congress we might actually be able to bully the Bush Administration into pulling out of Iraq, which is long overdue.

Some say that it’s the wrong move, because it would show us to be soft on the War on Terror and because it would cause Iraq to crumble into chaos. … Exactly!

Let’s be honest with ourselves. We are soft on the War on Terror! Most of us oppose this war because it’s immoral to kill terrorists. We are no better than they are. Terrorism is the only way these people can fight back. Maybe Native Americans, African-Americans, and Mexican-Americans would be sitting pretty these days if they’d considered flying planes into buildings. But they didn’t. They were “too good” for that. Well, jihadists aren’t. And who are we to judge? After all, who’s to say their culture is any worse than ours, which includes similar horrors such as intelligent design and Ashley Simpson? If we murder those who murder, we’re no better than the murderers.

In fact, we might even be worse than our enemies. Why? Because we created them. How many peace-loving people have turned to terrorism because of the Iraq occupation? Sadly, we’ll never know, because coalition troops are trying to kill them all. But think about it: If an alien race invaded America and there were no way for Americans to win the war, other than to wait until the aliens’ media spouted enough doom and gloom to make them lose heart, the best way to defeat the aliens would be to strap a bomb to yourself, go to the mall or the movieplex or the subway, and blow up fifty or sixty people. You might even blow up one or two of the aliens, if you’re lucky.

Look, as much as it might offend, we need to accept that our enemies are freedom fighters. They’re fighting for freedom from democracy. They’re fighting for freedom of oppression, for freedom of tyranny. Our enemies have every right to overthrow the elected representative government and keep the area firmly nestled in the seventh century. We need to respect that right.

Besides, we should want Iraq to descend into chaos. We should want a civil war. What better way to prove to Bush that he was wrong? Too many people die every day in Iraq, and it’s Bush’s fault. If we reverse Bush’s Iraq policy and leave now, even more people will die every day. That will be Bush’s fault too. All potential for Iraqi human rights will vanish — Bush’s fault. Most importantly, much of the potential for dealing with this ideology through diplomacy will disappear with the emergence of a hard-line Islamic theocracy that’s bitter about having had to kill so many people on roadsides and in markets just to restore their ability to kill from the pulpit with impunity. That’s not just Bush’s fault, it’s also a blessing in disguise, because we shouldn’t be acknowledging, much less pursuing diplomacy with, an immoral regime.

If the Dems win control of Congress, maybe we’ll even get the chance to impeach Bush. Then Cheney will become president. And he’s arguably worse than Bush, so we’ll have to then impeach Cheney too. Hopefully this will all take just under two years, so that we will have wasted everyone’s time and money distracting the world from what’s important in order to remove from power an administration that was about to leave anyway. The beautiful absurdity here would be a parting slap in the face to the Bush Administration — look what you made us do, guys! Hope you’re proud!

So vote in November. Vote Democrat. If you’re particularly devoted to the Democrats — the real party of democracy and freedom — vote more than once, in multiple states. Try to convince your Republican friends (which I hope you don’t have) to stay home. Consider strapping a bunch of hotdogs to your body and showing up in heavily Republican areas. Threaten to blow everyone up unless they don’t vote. Hell, even consider using real dynamite to threaten them. In fact, even consider going all the way and blowing everyone up. You never know, there could be 72 virgins waiting for you (even though there’s exactly no reason to believe there are).

The bottom line is that we need to get as many Nazis out of Congress as we can, no matter what it takes or who has to die.

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