Friday, May 4, 2007

We only progress because of extremists

I sense people not wanting to talk to me sometimes because of my strong opinions. But what are you if you have no opinions? I can't stand talking to somebody who just agrees with everything that you like and dislike. How is anything going to change if people DON'T speak up to their friends and say "Actually, bears have canine teeth too, and they don't eat cows," or "Did you know that there was a perfectly-running electric car, and they were all taken back by the company and crushed," or "There used to be railways, before Standard Oil bought them all up and destroyed them in partnership with GM." How is anybody supposed to know anything unless they're told? The media isn't talking about this stuff, they're talking about Sanjaya and Britney and Tom Cruise.

Also, I'm willing to talk it out. If somebody can convince me of their opinion through debate, I'm willing to change that opinion. It's been known to happen- because of it, I can argue the conservative side as well as I can argue the liberal side, even though I agree with the liberals deep down. I admit to being stubborn, but I'm not irrational. The debate won't end with me kicking you in the shin and saying "WELL UH, YOUR MOM". It just seems that a lot of the time, people don't want to back their opinions up with anything or to hear the other side. I am glad to hear the other side. It might make me angry and I might argue against it, but that's the only way to find truth in anything--through challenge!

And like I said, I'm not the most informed person in the world, but I'm always willing to listen to new facts. I might challenge where those facts come from, but again, that's the only way to achieve any kind of truth. So while it makes me sad that some people censor what they say around me or are fed up with my opinions on everything, I'm not going to change. I'd prefer debating issues until it's all out in the open and we either reach some kind of common ground or we agree to disagree. Friends who challenge me make me glad. Because I most certainly DON'T know everything. And while I might get frustrated while we debate it out, I appreciate that I'm learning.

And friends, I hope these debates don't make you think I'm an asshole. If you don't agree with what I'm saying, please please challenge me. I'd rather be challenged than go around saying something that sounds moronic. And I'll challenge that back, likely, but the only way to truth is to whittle down huge sweeping opinions into hard and definite facts that nobody can deny.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

rally up the neighborhood

I wish rallies went like the one in An American Tail where somebody stood on a hat and slammed their fist in their hand and everyone cheered. This was still a good one though.

Photo credit Melissa Guay of the Post Star

We walked around - led by a big flag that said "PEACE". I held a sign that said "Bush Lost the War - Support Our Troops - Bring them Home" that somebody else had brought extra of. There were some younger people who brought a rattle made of nutshells and a djembe drum and those tubes that whistle when you spin them. We walked by a store owner who smiled at us and said his son had served a year in Iraq and I started tearing up. We ended up standing by the construction at an intersection (at the end of South Street). The drumming, rattling, and whistling made it feel like we were doing something, that we were cohesive, that this was almost a ritual- something more than just standing there. Cory showed up and sort of hid behind a construction barricade because he was kind of embarrassed that we were standing at an intersection. After a while he came out from behind it though, and drummed a little on a construction barrel. One guy had driven by and seen us protesting, and he ran home and made a sign ("BUSH PULL OUT THE WAY YOUR FATHER SHOULD'VE") on a piece of sheetrock and came and stood with us, paint from his signmaking smudged on his cheek. He said his friend was over there and they had tried to get him to go. He wanted to call his friend to get him to come down, so I let him borrow my cell phone, but his friend wouldn't come.

I was proud to be with these people, these informed people that were willing to give up their usual suppertime and after-dinner TV to make a statement. We stood there for almost an hour and so many people gave us a thumbs-up or a smile or a wave or a honk or the peace sign. I was thinking, someday I can tell my kids about this. Maybe me standing on a street corner with a bunch of people isn't going to make Bush go "oh, never mind about the veto," but it's something. I can say I tried. It's better than sitting at home watching TV. And it says something to the American people, seeing us there. You can sit at home and have your opinions, but nobody's going to know them unless you get out there and tell them. I was really proud and glad.

We made the newspaper. At the end they say that a soldier says "these guys are going to come over here and kill us if there's no war". And I know he was over there, but I wonder how much of it was drilled into his head in boot camp and how much he knows from experience. I mean, did an Iraqi come up to him and say "I'm going to come over there and kill you unless you kill me first," or was it just his supervisor saying "If you see anybody that looks threatening, kill them, and this is why we're here..."? I guess I won't know. We'll just have to wait and see...

birthday party, cheesecake, jelly bean, boom

Okay, so when is a good time to panic about this bee thing? Let me know.

Gas prices expected to rise through the summer... But they won't exceed $4 a gallon! Phew. I was worried for a second there. Did you know that through Katrina, the gasoline sales DID NOT CHANGE. We proved to the oil companies that they could charge us as much as they like and we'd still buy it in the same quantities. Good job, America!

I don't understand the place of religion in politics. Also, I don't understand fanatics. Why do they hate us? There must be a reason. I haven't been paying enough attention to things we're doing in Palestine. What are we doing over there to make them hate us?

And I don't want to talk about how we failed to override the veto. I'm verklempt.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

more news commentary

Time to stop eating meat yet? It seems like something is coming every other day. Wasn't last week tainted pork from pigs eating bad pet food? The week before there was arsenic in the dog food? Let's cut our consumption. Not like you can't get e.coli from spinach because of wild boars frolicking in the spinach fields and smearing their shit all over it. (Maybe we should wash our vegetables?...)

Antidepressents may make you want to kill yourself! GREAT! What's the point of them again?

maybe somebody can explain this to me.

Okay. So I'm not the most informed person. I ignored this war for a long time out of utter disgust before I finally realised that I could do more about it if I was paying attention. I need some help here before I take a stance on this veto that just happened. Of course, I'm glad to just protest my heart out on the grounds that I hate Bush for his redneck anti-gay anti-choice anti-stem cell research agenda, and not give him what he wants out of pure spite. But on top of that, I feel like I don't really have a grasp on what we're doing here.

I mean...
What are we doing over there in Iraq, again?
I could be wrong here, but um... aside from the "war on terror," we're supposed to be establishing democracy, right? When I watched "The War Tapes," a video composed of footage shot by soldiers in the national guard, all I saw was the soldiers guarding the KBR (Read: Halliburton) trucks (full of Pizza Hut, Subway, and Burger King food... for the troops. So our tax money is going to these corporations so they can feed our troops their shitty mutated food - awesome). I don't know what other soldiers are doing, but that's ludicrous. And some randoms were trying to blow up the food trucks for some reason (I don't blame them, honestly).

So establishing democracy. I thought they had a vote. So... uh. They're a democracy, can we go now? And wait a sec - Why the fuck are we establishing democracy!!??! What about TERROR!? I don't understand the link between the two, here. As for terror - wouldn't it be more effective to hire some inside guys to sneak around and infiltrate and leak us info and then we get in there with snipers and boom, no terror... more efficient than whatever the hell they ARE doing, right? So... what's this about democracy? Why the hell do we care if they're democratic or not? What about democracy in Rwanda? In Darfur? People are killing each other all over the place, why are we focusing on Iraq? There are tons of places that aren't democracies - Why not establish democracy in China?

So. I can understand this part. Bush said "It makes no sense to tell the enemy when you plan to start withdrawing."

IF (we are in iraq fighting "terror")
IF (we pull out of iraq with a timetable)
THEN (that would be a bad idea)

BUT... We're not over there fighting terror at all! Who is this "enemy"!? Where the hell are the terrorists!??!? We've been bombing shit for so long, I think they're dead. I mean... I don't think the terrorists are the people doing car bombs and stuff. I think those guys just want us to leave! And I don't blame them! ...I want us to leave too! I admit that I don't know what "insurgents" actually means. Who are those guys? (Okay. i just wiki'd it. And... Basically, yeah. They're guys who don't want us around. But seriously, who blames them!?? I must be missing something here. They're terrorizing for a reason the same way we are... Oh wait. What's our reason?)

So... on top of that, we're training a military for the Iraqi people now? WHYYYYYYYYY. Why don't we take sides on Rwanda and train a military for the Tutsi people? Why are we all up in Iraq's shit? That's THEIR problem, getting an army together for whatever reason, I say. There are people starving in America. We're exploiting the fuck out of Mexico. Take that money and pay American workers fair wages to make their Gap jeans. I mean, it's nice of us to help out, I guess. But what makes that our main objective? It's not like we're just deciding to give them some money for training, either. It's involving us killing people (civilians included)... And us sending our poor youth away to die. (Like poor as in "needing money for college so they don't end up homeless", not like "aw poor youth".)

Ohhhh. Cos we need OIL. But wait. Isn't funding for scientific research (for alternative fuel) and laws making corporations comply CHEAPER than a full-on WAR?!!! Military spending is OUT of control. (The whole "$400 hammer" thing.) On "The War Tapes" the guys said that for a PLATE of food, Halliburton charged the USA $40. And sometimes they had two plates. Ok, you have to get it over to Iraq and all. But still. That's some expensive food, yo. Anyway. Point is. Scientists are cheaper than weapons. AND NOBODY DIES. THAT IS WHAT I DO NOT UNDERSTAND.

So. Based on what I know. We're over there just fucking around. And Democrats said "Okay, okay, enough fucking around. Let's get the hell out of here." And Bush said "NO I WANNA I WANNA I WANNANANANANANANAAAAAAAAAAA WAHHHHHHHHH". But you know what, Mister President? YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO DO WHAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WANT. You are elected (insert scoffing about election here) to REPRESENT the American people. You are not elected to do whatever the hell you want to do... Which is where I don't even understand the logic of the veto option being there. If the American people say let's get the hell out of Iraq, GET. THE. HELL. OUT. OF. IRAQ. This ain't a chess game, you don't get to decide, it's lives lost. This is supposed to be a democracy where the majority rules. I don't get it.

Also, it's interesting that Tony Blair is stepping down now... Convenient timing?

Also. Britney is back! Sort of.

In conclusion, I am sure there are things I'm missing here. Feel free to set me straight. I'm confused.