|Watch Bill Clinton sock it to Chris Wallace from the Fox News Channel. While I've made the argument that there probably was more the Clinton administration could have done regarding AlQaeda, I do like that Bill all but calls the FNC a propaganda machine. Brilliant! |
**Thanks Jenny for forwarding this to me.
full transcript here:
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Friday, September 29, 2006
Read about World 66 on one my fav blogs.
Check it out, you can enter the countries you've visited to generate a customized world map with your footprint on it. Mine is pictured above.
Very cool site and something fun to do on Friday.
I'm very humbled by my map, there's so much of the world I want to see. When I was a kid I had a map of Europe tacked up in my room with color coordinated tacks -- red was for cities I REALLY wanted to see (Paris, Rome, London, Venice, Barcelona), yellow was for secondary cities and white was for cities I wanted to see but could live without (suffice it to say the whole map was littered in white).
I hope this inspires you to put your politics aside and do your own traveling ASAP.
And where would I like to go next? Here's my top ten wish list for 2007 (in random order):
1. Sydney, Australia
2. Vienna, Austria
3. Cape Town, South Africa
8. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
9. Rejkjavik, Iceland
10. Hong Kong
Where would you like to go?
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Especially pages like this.
I haven't updated my blog in a while because work has been insane and, sigh, I just turned 26.
Not that that's anything to complain about, but in fact it is. Finding myself not in the mansion I built in my imagination while riding the B train to high school and not on the cover of Details I feel a bit unacommplished.
OK, enough pity party. Blogging will resume as of now as this really has been one of the most fun and rewarding projects I've taken on in forever.
Anyway, Gay Thugs Unite.
On the one hand I think it's great that young gay people of color are coming out and challenging their communities to accept them. On the other hand, I just don't get this gay thug business. Having grown up in the hood myself, I think being gay propelled me even further from the streets and deeper into my education and professional pursuits. Being gay is about being fabulous, interesting, learned and self aware. I believe Larry Kramer once said we were "better people" by virtue of having to try so hard for acceptance.
So when I read this, and when I see gay teens embracing a dead-end lifestyle (and believe me, I know the Chelsea scene can turn a good boy into meth moosh) it just saddens and enfuriates me.
Apparently I'm not the only one appalled by this trend. The Washington Post recently reported on the downward spiral of ilk and ghetto youth that are polluting Christopher Street. I'm sure there's a racist undertone to many of the white, gay, affluent homeowners complaints about the new crowd that's taken to "the strip," but I must say, it isn't a pretty sight and it can't be doing much for property value.
If you walk down Christopher Street at any time of day you'll see a proliferation of QUEENY black and latino teens, out-camping each other and screaming at other. It's just gross. Baggy jeans, do-rags, construction boots, jerseys and waxed eyebrows and cheap silver and gold jewelry are de rigeur in this part of town, just five blocks from Sarah Jessica Parker's house and across the street from where the Gay Rights Movement took off in 1968 (the Stonewall Bar).
What a waste. Here's my two cents: Go ahead an unite, you gay thugs, and take a trip up north to 8th ave and 23rd street and let your more fabulous and concerned gay brothers show you a thing or two about fashion and decorum. Well, maybe not decorum.
** I can't even address the fact that the picture above is actually a girl.
Friday, September 22, 2006
No, this is not my message to Blogger, although I am beyond pissed with them for not letting me post for FOUR days!!
That said, I wanted to share this article from today's New York Times:
President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan said yesterday that after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks the United States threatened to bomb his country if it did not cooperate with the American campaign against the Taliban in Aghanistan.
General Musharraf said the intelligence director had told him that Mr. Armitage had said: “ ‘Be prepared to be bombed. Be prepared to go back to the Stone Age.’ ”
General Musharraf added, “I think it was a very rude remark.”
First, I think harboring terrorists is pretty rude. That aside, I have no qualms with our intelligence department doing a bit of arm wrangling with terrorist-friendly countries who are going to stand in the way of our national security. Tough noogies General Musharraf, your country harbors terrorists, Osama bin Laden is probably hiding in your country right now, and you're lucky we haven't bombed you into the Stone Age. Yet.
OK, I will step back from anger.
Let's face it, we have NO friends in the Middle East or Asia. America didn't become a super power without pissing a few people off and perhaps hindering progress in other nations for our own good. That said, as much as my instinct tells me we should bomb every country that doesnt worship America, I know that such action won't help us at all.
Here's what I think:
1. Diplomacy is dead.
2. Our safety will not hinge on finding Osama or on bombing Pakistan.
3. Technology is going to save us.
A brilliant article in Time magazine by historian Niall Ferguson highlighted a point I made on this blog a few weeks ago about China not being our ally at all. In an article that ventures into the year 2031 to reveal a post-War on Terror America, Niall Ferguson validated my belief that intelligence and technology, not war, will eventually win this war for us.
I highly recommend that you read his article - not only does it assuage the pro-Bush camp by avoiding any shots at the President, it also provides a very well thought-out, sensitive, and logical alternative to our current bomb and win strategy in the Middle East (which we all know is NOT winning).
As for Musharraf, shut up.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Monday, September 18, 2006
As world leaders head to the United Nations for a week of meetings that are likely to be dominated by the debate over Iran’s nuclear program, President Jacques Chirac of France said today that those seeking negotiations with Tehran should drop their insistence that it halt uranium enrichment before talks begin.
I'm not one to subscribe to right-wing Francophobia but this is just ridiculous. President Chirac needs to shut up and let countries that matter and that have a vested interest in winning the war on terror do the talking in the U.N.
France has a very disappointing history when it comes to dealing with dictators and rogue regimes. For all the fingers pointed at the U.S. over Darfur, I don't see France building a coalition with Germany and Spain to focus the international community's attention elsewhere either.
The French, politically, are a blithe, antagonistic people. They're too lazy and self-important to fight but yet they have a million opinions about how every other country, especially the U.S., needs to behave itself.
We should not be negotiating with Iran. They have NO reason to test uranium. If your ten year old child came to you asking if they could learn to drive your car on a highway you'd say no, so should the U.S. continue in its course to refuse dialogue with Iran unless they cease uranium enrichment for the purpose of creating nuclear bombs.
Friday, September 15, 2006
We've already discussed the fifth anniversary of 9-11 but we're back at -- grrr, searching for better, less hackneyed term here -- ground zero in the war of words and swords with Islam.
Brace yourselves: We're on the cusp of another set of torchings, lynchings and wanton terrorist activity as "the religion of peace" rallies against Catholicism over "incendiary remarks" made by Pope Benedict about Islam.
Says the AP: Across the Islamic world Friday, Benedict's remarks on Islam and jihad in a speech in Germany unleashed a torrent of rage that many fear could burst into violent protests like those that followed publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.
Oh boo-effing-hoo! Are you kidding me?? Where is the Islamic community defending the defamation of its faith by terrorists on the anniversary of 9-11, the attacks on London and the attacks on Madrid? Oh wait! The Islamic community thinks we DESERVED these things to happen to us. Duh! Their faith is "under attack" so of course they have a right to be offended when a public figure makes the following remark:
The pope quoted from a book recounting a conversation between 14th-century Byzantine Christian Emperor Manuel Paleologos II and a Persian scholar on the truths of Christianity and Islam.
"The emperor comes to speak about the issue of jihad, holy war," Benedict said. "He said, I quote, 'Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.'"
Umm, if the shoe fits....
Of course imams from Ankara to Jakarta are calling the faithful to make themselves "heard" (nothing screams "faithful Muslim" like the sound of a plane slamming into a skyscraper).
About 2,000 Palestinians angrily protested Friday night in Gaza City. Earlier, Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, of the Islamic militant group Hamas, said the pope had offended Muslims everywhere.
The nerve. I LOVE how the Islamic community feels so entitled to respect and understanding. They have shown themselves to be nothing more than the worst epidemic to hit our planet since AIDS.
Says the New York Times:
[...] after she ended years of silence following the attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. In three books beginning with “The Rage and the Pride” (Rizzoli: 2002) and many interviews after the world-changing events, she attacked not only Islamic extremists but Islam itself, as well as a West that she said had become too complaisant and tolerant to realistically understand the threat.
Saying that the “sons of Allah breed like rats,” she strongly condemned the growing immigration of Muslims in Europe, including her native Italy.
“Europe is no longer Europe, it is ‘Eurabia,’ a colony of Islam, where the Islamic invasion does not proceed only in a physical sense, but also in a mental and cultural sense,” she told the Wall Street Journal in 2005. “Servility to the invaders has poisoned democracy, with obvious consequences for the freedom of thought, and for the concept itself of liberty.”
Ms. Fallaci’s warnings endeared her to conservatives — and won her an audience in 2005 with Pope Benedict XVI, although she was a lifelong atheist — but she also faced accusations of racism.
In other news, I'm deeply troubled by the fame-seeking ways of one "Dr." Nancy Heche, mother of the formerly-homosexual Anne Heche. Dr. Heche lost her gay husband to AIDS and a bunch of other kids she had died too. The real blow, however, came when her daughter Anne took up with Ellen (guess Nancy is in the Rosie camp). She reveals all of this in her new book, snarkily entitled When the Truth Comes Out.
[...]Nancy continued to face trials. Fourteen years after her husband’s death, she was confronted with her daughter’s, actress Anne Heche, highly publicized lesbian affair. Anne announced that she was in love with Ellen DeGeneres and wouldn’t hide their affair. Nancy says Anne’s lesbian affair was, “Like a betrayal of an unspoken vow: We will never have anything to do with homosexuals.” She couldn’t believe that her daughter could walk into the same lifestyle Anne’s father had lived, that had taken ended their fairytale life.
Oh give me a break. Nancy went on Bill O'Reilly's show this Monday to talk about how she feels "wronged" by the homosexual world. YOU AND ME BOTH, HONEY! Do you know how many jerk queens I had to date before I wound up with James? You don't hear me axing for restitution!
Lord alive. Of all the weeks when the pitiful can shine from whatever platform they like it is appalling that these miserable nobodies are coming out of the woodwork as the world mourns one of the greatest terrorist attacks in modern history.
Can't wait for the weekend!
Thursday, September 14, 2006
The Iranian Ambassador said, "You know, I have just one question about what I have seen in America.
President Bush said, "Well, anything I can do to help you, I will."
The Iranian said "My son watches this show 'Star Trek' and in it there is Chekhov who is Russian, Scotty who is Scottish, and Sulu who is Chinese, but no Arabs. My son is very upset and doesn't understand why there aren't any Iranians on Star Trek."
President Bush leaned toward the Iranian ambassador, and whispered back, "It's because it takes place in the future."
*Hat tip: Foote-ball
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
After you kill off President George W. Bush in a fictional film, what do you do? How about make a deal.
Gabriel Range, the British producer/director/creator of "Death of a President," the fictional documentary that sight unseen became one of the most talked-about movies of the Toronto Film Festival, has sold U.S. distribution rights to Newmarket Films, which handled Mel Gibson's equally provocative movie "The Passion of the Christ."
Lord. What a brilliant, BRILLIANT move by this self-important "artist." As W wages war on both Iraq and all things not white, straight and born-again-Christian, he is now given more fuel for his crusade against civil liberties by the unnecessary work of one Mr. Gabriel Range.
I'm all about artistic freedom, and yes, I understand the concept that art is supposed to take our imagination to places it wouldn't otherwise go (I mean, I've never thought about what would happen if W were offed...) but this is just stupid.
With the world being one spark away from blowing itself up we do not need to engage radicals on either side of the political fence. This film is only going to divide Americans more so than they already are, it's going to distract the news from reporting on the real issues that truly impact people and it's going to do an incredible disservice to liberals who want to defend the arts and free speech but who see a place for temperance and restraint.
Couldn't he have made a movie about Eva Peron? Everyone loves Eva.
Monday, September 11, 2006
I'm always curious to learn how other countries' news outlets cover major events here in the States. 9-11 is the biggest news story ever and I'm saddened, though not surprised, by the dismissive tone take on by some members of the world press on this sad day.
Le Monde, a leading French daily, offered an account (bilan, circled in the picture above) of the five years since 9-11, which have been marked by "security fever in the United States."
The paper's readers chimed in on a chat room in response to the query "Does 9-11 Still Dictate International Relations?" In spite of that snarky headline, most readers stated that 9-11 is just the beginning of worse things to come and brought up other reasonable concerns that are tied to safety, politics and economics. The issue of whether 9-11 has or should put the brakes on globalization was brought up, and one reader said that the world community can't let this happen.
Another reader asked if 9-11 brought people together - the response was that the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the USSR was a truly unifying event, while 9-11 has deepend the schisms of global politics.
El Pais, the leading newspaper in my mom's hometown of Cali, Colombia, offered a brief analysis of the post 9-11 world by a college professor named Eugenio Gomez. In his view, the clash of civilizations hit its climax on 9-11 and the Bush administration has done little to mend fences or build consensus on who the U.S.' enemies really are. I guess I can agree with that. Another editorial in the paper highlighted that more people have died in the subsequent invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq while Osama is still at large. Not much to argue there.
I just wish the paper would have acknowledged that a few Colombians actually died in the attacks, and they were people who came to this country to support their families back home. These perished individuals were contributing to the Colombian economy and to the well-being of its citizens, a nod to that would have been appropriate.
It's no surprise, though, that the terrorists at Al Jazeera make no qualms about their belief that we got what was coming to us on 9-11.
In addition to the stupid comments posted by its terrorist readers (many of whom posted from Western European countries), saying things like the Jews blew up the Towers, bla bla bla, the network's article offered these choice observations:
-- Five years after the tragic event, "cracks" are beginning to appear, with many analysts and political experts questioning the official story about 9/11 and suggesting that the collapse of the World Trade Center was apparently not as straight-forward as it was made out to be.
**WHO ARE THESE ANALYSTS AND "EXPERTS?"
-- Not the U.S. government stands out for the modern monuments to injustice, epitomized by the Abu Ghraib prison, the secret jails run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the Guantanamo detention camp that was established following September 11 attacks.
** AND NOT ONE MENTION OF THE INNOCENT CIVILIANS, PEACEWORKERS AND JOURNALISTS THAT HAVE BEEN KIDNAPPED AND BEHEADED BY AL QAEDA
-- The numerous conspiracy theories that had emerged since the tragic events took place, all questioning the claim that the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon building were carried out by a handful of young Arabs and Muslims are backed up by even more convincing evidence and a better understanding of why the attacks actually took place, and new voices are beginning to doubt the official story of what happened on 9/11.
** HUH?? THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT A HANDFUL OF YOUNG ARAB MEN, THE SAME ILK THAT IS WANDERING THE STREETS RIGHT NOW DEMANDING RIGHTS AND UNDERSTANDING WERE THE MASTERMINDS OF THE 9-11 ATTACKS.
-- The ensuing War on Terror is much more than an honorable mission to spread freedom and democracy as the American President claims, but a strategy to have American military bases stationed in most of the Middle East countries, and part of a wider plan to extend influence in the region and boost the U.S. hegemony in a way that facilitate laying hand on the Arab and the ME states’ riches. It’s becoming increasingly urgent that all of this be put an end before more innocent lives are lost. As the saying goes, you can't fool all the people all the time.
** WE COULD LEAVE IRAQ TOMORROW AND THESE PEOPLE WOULD STILL HATE US; THEY WILL ALWAYS FEEL OWED SOMETHING FROM US; THEY ARE MORE TROUBLE THAN THEY'RE WORTH...SEND AN A-BOMB THEIR WAY.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
9-11, WTC, Ground Zero, The War On Terror -- it's, well, something, that the most horrific day we have ever lived through as a nation can be reduced to little more than buzz words.
As we look back on the events of five years past and ruminate about the mess that has become our world in the wake of a seemingly endless era of fear and hatred, we cannot forget that in a matter of minutes nearly 3,000 people just stopped existing.
One such person was Mark L. Charette, a senior VP in the insurance division of Marsh & McLennan. On the morning of September 11th he was on the 100th floor of the World Trade Center. He normally worked out of Morristown, New Jersey.
Mark was married and had three children. He met his wife, Cheryl Desmarais, at the University of Pennsylvania. He got a business degree on a Navt ROTC scholarship to save his parents the expense of a college education, and he performed a five year stint as an officer on a nuclear submarine.
The one word that has come up often in my research on Mark is "handy." Mark had been renovating a 120-year-old house he bought with his wife in Millburn, N.J. at the time of his death. He was a devoted husband who spent Saturday mornings at McDonald's with his kids while his wife enjoyed some quiet time at home. His clients and colleagues called him straight forward, honorable, kind.
Mark's children are now 13, 11 and 7. As we mourn for Mark, we should mourn for the life that was also taken from his family. We should mourn for his childrens' childhood. I wonder how his family is doing today.
I was "assigned" to compile Mark's biography by the 2996 Project, a blog project that sought to honor the victims of 9-11 by bringing their stories back to the forefront of the fifth anniversary of 9-11.
Though I was born and raised in Brooklyn, I was at school at Boston University on 9-11. I was rushing to my U.S.- Latin American Relations Since 1898 class when I clicked the TV. I'm ashamed to say this, but I wanted to watch MTV that morning but by a fluke I hit CNN and saw the World Trade Center on fire. Minutes later it collapsed and I started screaming. I thought New York was going to be blown up and my family, who lives right across the bay from the WTC, would be gone forever.
I didn't hear from my parents until 7 that night. In the meantime I went to class. I stumbled through the day knowing my family was OK, but completely disconnected forom the fact that the world was coming to an end.
So on the anniversary of 9-11, as I shuffle between CNN's webcast of its original coverage of that day and my job and my life, I'll be thinking about someone I've never met. I'll be thinking of Mark Charette and his family and I'll be hoping that this day just flies by for them so they can go on with their lives.
While the politicization of 9-11 is to be expected -- afterall, the story of our nation's history took a drastic turn on that day -- let's not forget the thousands of stories, lives, that came to an end that day too.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
"...a groundbreaking new study on whiteness and race relations by University of Minnesota sociologists shows that whites in the U.S. are far more conscious of being white--and the privileges it brings--than was believed."
-- a stunning proportion of whites--77%--say their race has a distinct culture that should be preserved
-- Blacks do see more racism in society than whites but, contrary to stereotype, seem disinclined to blame the system for their disadvantage.
-- "Whites have invented subtle ways to convince themselves that race isn't a problem in America."
I'll tell you something, I do believe we live in a racist institution. And that's never going to change. It's part of the human condition.
While whites may certainly want to shrug off any notion that they may harbor racist feelings, I'll call my brothers and sisters of color to task by saying that they propagate racism too. By refusing to join the mainstream, by not making the system work for them, many Blacks and Hispanics have become a spectacle of ethnic pride. Here's what I mean: the young Puerto Rican guy (shut it, I'm half Puerto Rican, I can make this observation) with an oversized jersey and a beaded necklace of the Puerto Rican flag who can barely speak Spanish and gets by on hood-speak is as much of an embarassment to my culture as he is an eyesore to some white American as he is a future headache for everyone. Because that kid probably doesn't value education and self improvement as much as broadcasting his ethnicity and snubbing his nose at "the system."
Ethnic pride, it seems, is a cause championed by mediocre people. White culture isn't going anywhere. Latino culture isn't going anywhere. But culture is definitely taking a nosedive.
People refuse to open themselves up to change, growth and improvement. Instead they cling to the very little they know, to the small world they live in, to form an identity.
And that's very sad. That kind of thinking foments hate, foments crime, and it sets back the good work of decent Americans who do the right thing daily by themselves, their families and their country.
Monday, September 04, 2006
Check out this article from the Times Sunday Magazine.
The takeaway from this is that a new China, reveling in its economic superpower status, is taking more of an active role in the U.N.
With what goal?
"The People’s Republic has used its position as a permanent, veto-bearing member of the Security Council to protect abusive regimes with which it is on friendly terms, including those of Sudan, Zimbabwe, Eritrea, Myanmar and North Korea. And in the showdown with Iran that is now consuming the Security Council, and indeed the West itself, China is prepared to play the role of spoiler, blocking attempts to levy sanctions against the intransigent regime in Tehran. "
Slowly but surely the new face of terror is going to be a mutlinational, multi-lingual, multi-faith beast that is going to emerge out of "nowhere" and will blindside us and ultimately enslave us.
We're already seeing the result of dealing with nefarious regimes: Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia -- the U.S. keeps thinking it can play with dictators and murderers and not get its hand sliced in the process. Diplomacy, it seems, is like a street game of Three Card Monty -- it looks like such an easy win, saying the right things and making just enough overtures to people we know are evil, and then all of a sudden you're burying 3,000 of your own citizens on a single day.
Watch, just like the Middle East, China will prove to be an even trickier mine field in the years to come. They are building an arsenal against us: with technology, with weapons, and with relationships with countries that would like nothing more than to be rid of the U.S.
Just remember: If you let a snake into your garden you can't be upset if and when it bites you.
Sunday, September 03, 2006
But a new tape making the rounds on CNN and Fox News features an American citizen named Adam Gadahn inviting the world to embrace Islam, "Decide today, because today could be your last day."
Wouldn't that be the best tagline for the Barney's Co-op sale?
Anyway, this latest entry in the endless global narrative on terror intrigues me because it's the first time I'm hearing of terrorists giving us a choice regarding our fate. Until recently we've been getting warning upon warning that our end was upon us, but now we can actually spare ourselves. Or so we're told.
I know the Fox reporters who were released recently were forced to "convert" to Islam, but is a mass conversion to Islam really, ultimately, what Al Qaeda wants?
I don't think so.
If Al Qaeda really wanted the world to embrace Islam they would have used their bottomless pit of cash to just buy Americans into submission and there wouldn't have been a need for 9-11.
This latest video just goes to show that the organization itself is falling apart. Which means more trouble for the U.S. What we're going to face now are terror-prosepectors who are going to take bin Laden's radical message and adopt it to whatever other homicidal tendencies they may have to carry out endless and unorganized attacks on civilians.
Bill Maher was on Larry King recently and he made an excellent point: police work, and not war, is what is going to save lives. I agree with that. It was police investigation that thwarted the air-terror plot out of London last month and it's that same kind of sleuthing that crunched down on the terror cell that wanted to blow up the Sears Tower earlier this summer.
You can't negotiate with terrorists, but I'm willing to work something out with W to make the Patriot Act our real weapon against terror if he's willing to start pulling out of the Middle East.
Saturday, September 02, 2006
The more I read about Senator Joe Biden the more I like the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee.
He just wrapped up a two-week tour of Iowa, a must for any Presidential contender, and recently came under fire for remarks against Wal-Mart, the nation's largest private employer.
I don't think I've ever set foot in a Wal-Mart, but Mr. Biden is calling the private sector to task for the well being of other Americans. If a company is going to profit off cheap labor then they have a responsibility to provide for healthcare for an obviously essential workforce.
Of course the right will have none of this and Mr. Biden might as well have burned a flag. By attacking a venerable institution in the right wing psyche Biden has been dismissed as a Democrat snob who's out of touch with the American people.
I like Biden. I want to see more of him. I want to know what you think about him, too.
In fact, I think we should create our own fantasy Democratic party! Who would we nominate for Pres, Vice Pres? Who'd serve on the President's cabinet?
This could be fun and you don't have to work on Monday so play along. NOW.