Tuesday, October 17, 2006

this is the text of the 6th anniversary statement by our president:

President's Statement on Anniversary of USS Cole Attack

Six years ago, on October 12, 2000, al Qaida attacked the USS Cole, a U.S. Navy warship refueling in Aden harbor in Yemen. This terrorist attack killed seventeen sailors and injured many others, leaving the victims' loved ones and our Nation to mourn our collective loss.
On the sixth anniversary of this attack, we pause to remember those brave servicemen and women whose lives were cut short by this act of terrorism and to give thanks to the brave crew whose heroic actions saved their ship and fellow shipmates.
With the men we believe to be the key architects of that attack now in custody, this anniversary should serve to renew America's dedication to bring terrorists to justice and our gratitude to those men and women of the U.S. Government serving abroad who take great risks in protecting America.
Six years ago, our Nation was tested by terrorism. Terrorists continue to be an active threat to our Nation, but we are responding resolutely and forcefully. On this solemn anniversary, we rededicate ourselves to the fight against the enemies of humanity, offer our prayers and condolences to the families of the Cole victims, and offer thanks to the men and women of our Navy who protect our country and promote peace and freedom around the world.

...while this is a nicely written (albeit brief) commemoration and the people who died do indeed deserve some form of public remembrance for the role they played in serving our nation and their untimely deaths, i am left with the questions:
why did president bush decide to give this to them on the 6th anniversary, but not on the 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd or, even, 1st? why is it suddenly so important that we remember them 6 years after the fact, but not before? the 6th year is an odd one in which to begin, don't you think? that this year is a year of mid-term elections and, at this time, most pundits and polling groups are predicting serious losses for the republicans in the House and Senate shouldn't play a role in bush's newly-found respect for those who died on the U.S.S. Cole, right?
perhaps, bush has been too busy saving our country from terrorist attacks during the previous years.
perhaps, bush wanted to do something for them in previous years, but the budget was too tight in light of the money being spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
perhaps, he was being compassionate and didn't want to bring it up so that bill clinton wouldn't look bad.
perhaps, he just forgot. it happens.
but perhaps, it's one more ruse of his and karl rove's and dick cheney's to keep us scared, to keep us thinking that without him, karl and dick we wouldn't be free right this very second, that if they weren't so hellbent on raising fences and barriers and dropping diplomacy and cooperation we would be living under the veil (as it were).
perhaps, he remembered, because he was told to. because he needs to be out front rallying the voting base. because it may be the only way in which he can be seen as helping his party to retain power even as his approval ratings plummet and more and more soldiers die for they know not what.
perhaps, it's time to vote.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Oh, screw the Fresno Fair. now, THIS is fun stuff. at today's White House press briefing, Tony Snow laid down some thick brown fog...if you get my drift:
We're making progress,” he replied. “I don't know. How do you define ‘winning’? The fact is, in taking on the war on terror -- let me put it this way, the President has made it obvious, we're going to win. And that means, ultimately, providing an Iraq that is safe, secure, and an ally in the war on terror. And at any given time, as you've seen in previous wars, there are going to be spikes in violence. And it is natural for Americans who have -- really are probably the most empathetic people on the face of the earth, to feel deeply the loss of those who have given their lives in battle.”
(huh? i'm not so sure i'd define the American people as the most empathetic on Earth. maybe spoiled, lazy, entitled and naive, but not so much empathetic past the tip of our collective nose. and empathy is defined by one source as meaning:
"The imaginative projection into another's feelings, a state of total identification with another's situation, condition, and thoughts. The action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without explicitly articulating these feelings".
well. thirdly, former president bill clinton was badly maligned by the republican party and all conservatives in general for uttering the words "i feel your pain". does this mean that in the 1990's we weren't empathetic? but now suddenly we are? somehow over the last ten years we have become able to understand what it's like to be bombed daily, to have our families dragged out and executed by those who used to be our neighbors and buy from our stalls? we now know what it's like to live under an occupying military and wonder if we're going to be called a terrorist by someone else in order for them to freed by their captors? somehow, i think not)

Q That's the proposition that the White House put out there, that as they [the Iraqi government] stood up, violence would come down, and we'd stand down.
MR. SNOW: As part of our constant adjustment, let me just add that apparently, the terrorists have also decided not to stand down. They've got to stand down
(so, the terrorists have to stand down, the Iraqi government has to stand up and then WE can stand down? when did the terrorists get invited to this game of musical chairs? and what's with "constant adjustment"? kind of sounds like "we have no fucking clue what we're doing")
and while the standing up and standing down goes up and...well, up, the newest round of peace talks in Iraq have been cancelled as Sunnis and Shiites continue to massacre one another. heckuva job, georgie.
and now it seems that only 16% of Americans polled think that bush and company weren't lying about what they knew before 9/11 happened. 84% think that they lied or withheld info crucial to the terrorist hijackings. and that's only down 5% from 2002. so, we've been extremely cynical about bush and his for 4 years and still they are in power and every day increasing their hold on it and destroying our rights as citizens.
but, finally, good news from California (where only the fruits and nuts seem to grow in abundance according to most who don't live here): if this source is right, then you and i can request paper ballots when we vote on november 8. click on the link, then the pdf link within the story. hopefully, this plays out. i, for one, am mighty distrustful of electronic voting at the moment.

Fresno Fair

well, the Big Fresno Fair has come to its end yet once again. seems like every year they say it's over and, whatdayaknow, next october here it is again. just like a rolling stones' tour. or that fruitcake that's been sent between my familymates for the last century. hmmm, both are about as old.
and since it was the final day of ye olde faire i decided to accompany katie and do the do as it were.
we started off with a stroll through Kid's Town where the icky sticky reptiles were (gorgeous banded snakes, geckos, chameleons, tortoises and the like) and into which katie was a bit apprehensive about stepping. no worries, though, no one got bit...by a reptile, that is.
then, we marched over to the mammals enclosure where the hairy beasts were. unfortunately, mustang's pen was empty. but we did see the championship judging for pygmy goats, big-balled bulls, bunnies and guinea pigs. and we're talking serious ballage on the bulls. plus, they both had boners. we couldn't ascertain if it was merely an experimental college thing or they were truly sweet on each other

we completed the walkaround, (after visiting the mineral and gem building where i got these shots of mineral rocks under black light)

found beerocks and corn on the cob and prepared ourselves for the main event- horse racing and the losing of money thereon. we were very confident walking in. we'd done all of the homework we felt we needed to and had a good feel for the horses and jockeys (though i wasn't wearing any jockeys) and we immediately began laying down big dollars on the longshots.
as it turned out, sunday was not a day for longshots. until, of course, two races after we left at which time the longshot won and paid off huge. we did have one quick thrill, though, when the 38-1 came out of the last turn with a full length lead. at about that time the jockey (who just happened to be the ancient mariner in need of only a musket to look right at home at a Revolutionary War Old-Timers' Home) evidently decided he needed to make a can-and-string phone call and let all of the other horses pass him so he could hear better. and, yes lecram, once again i didn't wait to see which nag he was riding before placing my bet. personally, i believe he is the stable mucker and only rides the flesh that needs stat padding for a bigger stakes race. or the horse owners are so cheap they won't hire anyone under the age of dirt. or faster than glacial melt. i think the very rotund bugle blower could have beat him. on foot.
so, in my four years of pony betting i have now won a total of ONE time. and that was my very first bet ever. when i had no idea what i was doing. which doesn't seem to have changed. damn fun, though.

there a couple of other pictures, but blogger's not letting me upload them. i'll try again later so you can see the pint sized bronc buster and the deep-fried twinkie i was dared to eat.