don't tell me to calm down
So, let's see...
1) Hezbollah, a terrorist organization, apparently has enough support to fire an endless number of rockets into Israel and even has the capacity to destroy ships. Conversely, Israel is blowing Lebanon back into the 15th century, with massive civilian casualties, entire families being vaporized, and a blank check from the rest of the world.
2) Iraq is in full-blown civil war, and the situation has gotten so bad that the Sunnis are asking the Americans to stay. Which they are, and when we're not dying in waves, we're dying on average about one soldier a day. That's one of your high school classmates, worse off than you, going to serve and coming home in a box. Once a day. For a war based on utter lies.
3) The power is out in New York City, St. Louis, and all over California. Temperatures from yesterday and today have shattered records. 2006, so far, has been the hottest year in recorded history, and estimated to be the hottest year in 400 years. What was in second place? Last year.
4. Gas is the most expensive it has ever been in this country, going over $3 a gallon. This absolutely kills low income families not lucky enough to live in a place with realistic public transportation (pretty much everywhere not called New York, Chicago, Seattle and Washington D.C.)
5. Bush just spent his first veto on the only ray of hope to come out of this year's political fiasco: a real stem cell bill passed by the Senate. Paraplegics, those with ALS, Parkinsons, macular degeneration and Alzheimers are all told to fuck off. By the way, one out of two men (and 1/3 of women) reading this blog will get cancer if current rates persist. If your cure does not come in time, you will know who stopped it.
6. Rent The Corporation. We watched it last night, and while it can be literal and heavy-handed, you will not come away unaffected. It is so depressing that it made me want to curl up with Tessa and Lucy and never leave our bed.
7. Which we can't do, because Lucy is so uncomfortable with her heat rash on her back and arms because of the weather. Watching her writhe in misery absolutely floors me - I just want to take all of her pain away (fortunately, hydrocortisone did the trick).
These are desperately bad times, no matter how comfortable you feel. You may like your job where you're reading this, you may find your home office or laptop a little piece of serenity, but the world is in mid-disaster. Things move slow enough not to be noticed, but they're happening. You're living history, you just don't know it. They didn't know it in 1066, 1215, 1512, or 1848. They didn't know it when the medieval sickness came from Italy, they didn't know it when Noah began pounding.
I'm reminded of two quotes, one from George Orwell:
"We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men."
And of course, this from Christopher Marlowe's "Doctor Faustus":
FAUSTUS: Where are you damned?
MEPHISTOPHILIS: In hell.
FAUSTUS: How comes it then, that thou art out of hell?
MEPHISTOPHILIS: Why, this is hell, nor am I out of it.
Posted by Ian Williams at July 23, 2006 11:22 PM
Don't forget 2002, when Carolina went 8-20.
I fully recognize that I'm just ignorant enough about the world as a whole and the big picture that if I were on the sinking Titanic and the band started playing, I'd probably be right there with them making requests or singing kareoke telling everyone, "I don't think the heavy stuff's gonna come for quite some time."
I know it seems like we're headed for hell in a handbasket, but I just came off a great weekend with my camping buddies, extending our 14th annual tradition at Lake James in the NC mountains east of Asheville.
Just watched Tiger clinch his 11th major after dealing with the loss of his father. And got choked up while clutching my son as Tiger's tears flowed freely on the middle of the 18th green.
Watched Floyd beat the hell out of the French in their own backyard taking the yellow jersey and assuming the mantle that Lance left behind, knowing that he'll have potential career-ending hip surgery later this year.
Dressed my son up this morning in a little iPod onesie a friend got us that is not unsimilar to one Lucy wore in a photo on this very blog some time ago. And then watched him fumble around with my actual iPod on the couch as I got his stuff ready for daycare. Priceless.
I might be confusing the figurative whistling of the missles of doom aimed at our heads for a bird's sweet song, but at least I enjoy sipping from my half-full glass. It ain't all bad . . . and you can't ruin your buzz worrying about the things you can't change.
The resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue will be out in two years. Maybe when the stem cell opponents see their loved ones wither away from diseases which MIGHT have otherwise been cured with some research, they'll change their tunes. And maybe when the fortunate sons eschew the privileged path and serve this country unlike their fathers, their positions on a questionable war will change. And perhaps the prohibitive gas prices will force Americans (myself included) to get off of our fat asses and ride a bike or walk to the corner store. Or purchase cars more realistically tailored to their needs.
Until then, here is something which may make you smile. Prized class of 2007 basketball recruit Kevin Love is going to make his decision tomorrow on whether he's coming to UNC or going to UCLA.
If THAT can't put a smile on your face, then perhaps staying in bed is best.
Is this the Zeitgiest of the left? No wonder the modern Democratic party is in the state it is.
As for the specific points:
1) What is Israel supposed to do, exactly? What we as Americans do not comprehend is that Hezbollah and Hamas exist for one sole purpose - the EXTERMINATION of the Jewish state. Fighting for your literal survival gives you a little latitude.
Everyone should read Charles Krauthammer's excellent piece from last week for a perspective on this.
2)Please, we all grow weary of the "Bush lied, now kids died" mantra. Also, enough with making military service a class warfare issue. The wealthiest among us have deferred military service since the beginning of the American revolution.
3) Speaking of growing weary, I will concede the planet is getting warmer, if you will concede we only have 130 years of weather records to base it on. Trying to determine human impact on long-range global climate change is like trying to predict whether or not a movie was good or bad by watching the last two frames.
4) Part of the reason gas is so high is that we have reduced capacity to refine oil, mainly because of environmental opposition to refineries. Plus, 1 billion screaming Chinamen have decided to come to the oil table as well. Here is another good link:
5) Bush vetoed spending government money on stem cell research. Why does the government have to pay for it all? If stem cell research is truly worthy (and I believe it is), private industry will pick up the ball and run with it. That's how a free market works.
6) Speaking of, what bad, bad corporations you have all been. Naughty, naughty. Besides, you need corporations so that John Edwards can finance his presidential aspirations by suing them, or so that George "Gordon Gekko" Soros can get rich by trading stocks.