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So it's been a year.
Looking back, I, like most, said some foolish things a year ago.
Unlike most, they were not "nuke the towelheads" or some variant
thereof. No, my half-cocked statements were on the opposite end of the
spectrum. But I don't feel any apologies are necessary, shooting our mouths off is what separates us from the animals.
Having the right to do so is what separates this country from so many others on the planet.
Today I tried to avoid all media outlets exercising that right, especially mainstream commercial ones. But I was on my way to lunch when I hit
A commercial station the radio and heard them mixing in the president's speeches with various songs that may or may not have relevance today.
For starters, I can't believe this idiot is our "elected" leader. I kept waiting for someone to have the guts to sample his "I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers. Thank you. Now watch this drive." quip from one of his countless golf outings. Between
His golfing, vacationing at the ranch, and Republican fund raising
appearances I have a hard time believing he's actually doing anything in relation to his job.
Of less importance is the radio's poor choice of songs. Surely SOMEone at the station has listened to the lyrics of Springstien's "Born in the USA"?
Or maybe they DO know what they're doing when they play it.
But Americans have never been accused of having taste.
No, it's a bold LACK of taste we're known for. (That, and the strongest economy, the strongest military force, the most nuclear weapons, the most cars, and the most of just about anything we use to measure ourselves.)
In fact, it was a bold break from the tastes and traditions of the time that gave birth to this country in the first place.
So when the rest of the world says we shouldn't go after another country (Saddam and Iraq), just because of a possible potential threat, we, in our tasteless ways, just shrug and do it anyway.
Much like our actions in Afghanistan, I have to wonder at our reasons. I'm sure the leadership in Iraq is a dictatorship that uses weapons of mass destruction on people within it's own borders, and weapons of personal destruction against anyone who speaks out against it. I'm sure Saddam is a threat to his neighbors and peace in the region. I'm not entirely sure his country would be better off without him, but it couldn't get MUCH
Yet I'm also sure certain leaders (Cheney and other oil barons in the US) stand much to gain by war in the region, especially one that results in greater control and influence by said leaders. And I'm not just talking politics here, I'm talking hard, cold cash, black gold Texan's Tea...
So on one hand I think certain acts of violence may be necessary. On the other, I can't help but wonder WHY.
We've gotten in the middle of a long-standing racial/religious war. According to cnn.com, the US sends about $80 million in aid a year to the Palestinians. That sounds like a lot, but when compared to the amount we send to Israel it's a slap in the face. We've added an additional $200 million in military aid to the $2.8 BILLION we're sending to Israel
This fiscal year. You don't have to be a (nuclear (nation)) rocket scientist to realize we've picked a side in this long-standing battle.
Anyone who knows me knows I'm not anti-Semitic, but I don't understand why we support Israel. Not only are thousands of Palestinians killed with the weapons we provide, but now we have become the enemy of every Arab by being the friend of their enemy. And frankly I don't give a damn about either side. I don't need that patch of desert, no matter who thinks it's holy.
Sure, I'd like to support a peaceful agreement in ANY dispute, but how are we supporting peace in this region? "Through superior firepower" you might have said once upon a time, but now the methods of madness have changed. It's no longer tanks rolling over rock-throwing protestors alone. Now it's protestors with bombs strapped to them, and knife-wielding lunatics driving planes into the allies of Israel.
I suspect we don't actually want peace in the region. Unified, the Arab nations might not feed us the oil we're addicted to. But set against one another, they are always in need of guns and money and we're more than happy to supply them in trade. The Middle East countries had 685.6 billion barrels of oil reserved last year. The closest competitor is Central and South America together at 96 billion. (Thanks to bpamoco.com for those
It's particularly odd we support Israel when "Israel produces almost no oil and imports nearly all its oil needs (major sources traditionally have included Egypt, the North Sea, West Africa, and Mexico). Although oil exploration in Israel has not proven successful in the past (current output is less than 1,000 barrels per day), drilling is being stepped up.
Israel's Petroleum Commission has estimated that the country could contain 5 billion
barrels of oil reserves, most likely located underneath gas reserves, and that offshore gas potentially could supply Israel's short-term energy needs. Geologically, Israel appears to be connected to the oil-rich Paleozoic petroleum system stretching from Saudi Arabia through Iraq to Syria. Overall, around 410 oil wells have been drilled in Israel since the
1940s, with little success." (Thanks to the Department of Energy's site at
http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/israel.html for that.)
And now, on the anniversary this war mongering came home to roost, I have to wonder at this country's of outrage and shock. We've been betting heavily on an out-of-control dog fight, and now one of the dogs has jumped out of the pen and bitten us on the ass, hard, and we're shocked? Outraged?
My shock and outrage are divided. Sure, I'm angry at those who perpetrated the crime. How can I not be? But, like any victim of a crime, I have to wonder what I could have done to prevent it, and how I can prevent it from happening in the future. Somehow I doubt it's military aid. You don't stop a fight by handing out guns, at least not in this instance.
But you don't make a buck and keep the oil flowing by keeping the guns at home! So let the blood... uh... I mean "oil" flow and, as the car commercial says, "Keep America rolling!"
All half-cocked responses welcomed. All full-cocked responses considered.
I got the new Southern Bitch CD in the mail a while back. I've listened to it several times and somehow it just doesn't grab me. The singer's voice is clear, if a bit nasal, but maybe it's too clear. For Southern Rock you need a growly, howling voice. The lyrics are decent, if simple, but a little on the down side. For Southern Rock you need a few beer drinking and hell raising tunes thrown into the mix. The guitar work is crisp and clean, if subdued, but only adds to the downbeat mood of the record. You need some fuzzy, twangy, three guitar attack from time to time. But maybe that's all my problem - maybe the genre has been done, and done to death. So if you year for a softer, melodic side of the pigeonhole known as Southern Rock, quit yer bitching and check out Southern Bitch's new CD, or catch 'em live when they open for Hank Williams III at the Masquerade next Wednesday the 18th.
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