15 August 2007

My Andy Warholesque self-portrait

posted by Smith @ 8/15/2007 04:29:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

07 August 2007


I'm updating my profile with Technorati. Here it is.

posted by Smith @ 8/07/2007 08:32:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

05 July 2007

Former VPs son rains on Daddy's parade

Superb timing, son!

While former Vice President Al Gore spearheads his noble Live Earth concerts, his son has caused a media weather system, which has rained them all out and stolen the thunder. What a numbskull!

It's not only that he's driving around with a selection of illegal narcotics--which, is a very, very stupid move in itself--but that he's joy-riding at about 100 MPH with this forbidden cargo!! This dunderhead is not just ridin' dirty, he's ridin' Too Fast, Too Dirty!

It's hard to imagine how Al Gore will deal with his 24-year-old little boy--I would hope it involves getting his rodeo belt out of his closet. But for all the wishful thinkers waiting for Al to put his hat in the ring for 2008, after the humiliation this kid has caused, I don't think your wish will come true.

posted by Smith @ 7/05/2007 07:40:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

10 March 2007

Wishing Osama a Happy Birthday?

The degree to which some media outlets have "celebritized" Osama bin Laden, to which he has become all but forgotten as a threat to the United States, is both disgusting and frightening.

While watching CNN Headline News today, one news brief announced a special occasion. The jist of the clip was,

We haven't heard from him in a while, but wherever he is, Osama bin Laden turns 50 today! Some people say he is already be dead, but most people believe he is still alive. Bin Laden supporters, though, are wishing him well. (End of clip.)

Why didn't they just add "Happy Birthday, Osama!" to the end?! It wouldn't have sounded relatively awkward given their jovial tone.

What about mentioning that it's been more than half a decade since the September 11 attacks for which he has claimed responsibility?! What about asking how it is that the administration has allowed this man to reach the age of 50?!

Why is Osama bin Laden celebrating his 50th birthday with those closest to him with no fear of being captured? It's because he has no worries. He has maybe a handful of guys who are running around playing Where in the World is Osama? in intervals among a cycle of football, Texas Hold 'Em, and jerking off.

The rest of our military forces are occupied with cleaning up the oops we made in Iraq. At the rate we're going, Osama will be a retired veteran before we get to him.

We promised the victims of 9/11, WE WILL NEVER FORGET. Yet, has America forgotten?

posted by Smith @ 3/10/2007 12:29:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

27 February 2007

Ban McDonald's?

Prince Charles has suggested that a ban on McDonald's fast food was "the key" to fighting diabetes, according to a Times Online article.

What an interesting suggestion, Charles. Unfortunately, it would be sort of like putting a Band-aid on a poison ivy rash. Utterly pointless. The people who are loyal to McDonald's would be downright outraged. They would soon get over their anger, though, and simply drive through another death-food restaurant.

I agree, McDonald's does do its damage. But in order for your suggestion to have any impact on the overall health of human beings, it would have to be broadened to include all fast food resaturants. Good luck with that.

Not only that; the "nutritional" content in food that other restaurants sell would have to be regulated and monitored. Otherwise they will adapt their menus to include and cater to the huge market share lost by the fast food industry.

Many people love fast food. Most of the people who eat it know the consequences, especially of eating it frequently. A general ban on fast food would be ineffective and as successful as Prohibition was in the U.S. If all of the McDonald's, Burger King's, Wendy's, White Castle's, Arby's, Taco Bell's, Jack in the Box's, Carls Jr.'s, Whataburger's, Chick-fil-A's, et cetera, were suddenly shut down, people will find other ways to get their 3,000-calorie meals.

It comes down to this: people need to be educated with the facts about what they eat and the consequences -- or benefits -- that come with eating it. If people wish to continue eating fast food, knowing that by doing so they are trimming years from their lives, then that is up to themselves and the people who care about them.

posted by Smith @ 2/27/2007 11:47:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

21 February 2007

Why not a contest of ideas?

Why can there not be more public debates among key politicians? Or, at the very least, head-to-head public discussions between, say, those in the White House and those on Capitol Hill.

Right now America has more of a he said-she said democratic practice where someone can make a statement through some media outlet and, yet, there is no rebuttal to his or her statement.

For instance, ABC News reported today that, aboard the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk, Vice-President Dick Cheney told U.S. soldiers that Americans "will not support a policy of retreat." That statement, however, is completely false. A majority of Americans do support some sort of withdrawal of troops from Iraq within some sort of time frame.

Many statements are made by politicians when there is no one there who can respond to or refute it. Yet, shouldn't the debate of ideas part of a democratic society, not to mention the foremost of democratic societies?

Right now our democratic debates are limited to a few between candidates during presidential campaigns. I do not consider the one-by-one ramblings of representatives and senators in Congress to be proper debates. A debate is a contest, a competition of opposing ideas.

The ideas and ideals of the American people as conveyed through its politicians are expressed far apart from each other -- a policy of us and them -- because they are not made to come together in a public arena.

How can we be a nation united when we are a nation separated by our own ideas? At this moment in our nation's history we are categorized as Democrats or Republicans, liberals or conservatives. A time for us to come together as one nation is long overdue.

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posted by Smith @ 2/21/2007 08:35:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

16 August 2006

Hezbollah picks up the pieces

The softer side of Hezbollah
I am stunned by the new demeanor taken on by Hezbollah after the cease-fire, which almost looks better than FEMA.

Hezbollah has temporarily put aside its role as a terrorist organization, and has now taken on its role as a social services organization of volunteers. Hezbollah was quick to the punch in heading off the Lebanese government in putting back together the broken fragments of Lebanon.

The New York Times' John Kifner reports¹ that Hezbollah will most likely become the "beneficiary", as Hezbollah has now stepped up, and is "dominating the efforts to rebuild" homes and infrastructure damaged or destroyed by Israeli attacks. Not surprisingly, these rebuilding efforts are being financed primarily by Iran.

"While the Israelis began their withdrawal," notes Kifner, "hundreds of Hezbollah members spread over dozens of villages across southern Lebanon began cleaning, organizing and surveying damage."

Hezbollah volunteers are even proactively knocking on the doors of residential homes, inquiring as to what help might be needed. It has been reported that Hezbollah is giving $10,000 - 12,000 to each Lebanese family who were victims of the attacks.

It is perhaps a strategic facade being displayed, but this is something rarely, if ever, seen in a terrorist organization. Unlike the deadly conflicts between Muslim sects as seen in Iraq and other countries, Hezbollah is not attacking, but uniting with the Lebanese people from whom they eventually gain trust, support and loyalty. With respect to any foreseeable end to its conflict with Israel, this is not good news -- this is very bad news.

Refugees heading back home
A BBC News article² points out that "an estimated half-a-million people are [now] on the move" to return home, uncertain as to what they will find, and major roads have become "clogged with a constant stream of vehicles."

More significantly, a number of these vehicles have been "decorated with the yellow flag of Hezbollah or posters of its leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah." Although they are coming home to "scenes of utter devastation," says BBC, the refugees are nevertheless "jubilant."

This is reminiscent of when New Orleans residents finally returned home from neighboring cities and states in a convoy of buses and cars, cheering, singing, and waiving American flags out of windows. Wait!! Please disregard that report, as it has not yet been confirmed, and possibly never happened.

A reliable reinforcement
Hezbollah has become a, if not the, stronghold for the Lebanese people. And this is a new challenge for the West with regard to public opinion in Lebanon and other Arab states as well as the rest of the world.

Unless the UN and world leaders lend immediate support to the government of Lebanon directly by affording them the resources needed to secure and rebuild a nation broken by Israel, the scale of confidence of the Lebanese people will tip dramatically toward Hezbollah. This would surely produce results similar to the democratic election of Hamas in Palestine.

posted by Smith @ 8/16/2006 09:11:00 AM 0 comments links to this post

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Location: Elmhurst, Illinois

husband, father, son, brother, friend; curious, skeptical, cognizant, reasonable, liberal, freethinker