Thursday, March 31, 2005

She's not only merely dead, she's really most sincerely dead. Imagine if this fiasco would have led to an honest discussion of the right to die in this country; no one should have to be starved to death.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

It Ain't Over 'til It's Over

Terry Schiavo has neither died nor risen from the dead but the circus continues. But for all the craziness of the past months, there is an 'up side', and a silver lining. Though, to tell you the truth, I'm not convinced it's really him. The tone seems so much, I don't know ... edgier. Now, if only ...

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Returning to Regularly Scheduled Broadcasting

Terry, was scheduled to return to blogging at Nitpicker (though his return to the states is about a month off yet) but he finds he has now been blocked from Blogger. So, after the little teasers, you may have to wait a wee bit longer for his long-awaited return. I imagine a mad flurry once he gets back his 'blog fingers' and is no longer on active duty.
It's Madness I Tell You ... Madness

And I'm not talking about NCAA hoops either. If you want to play doctor, go to medical school. If you want to play God ... well, your pReznit has that one covered already.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush cut short a vacation to return to Washington and be ready to sign a bill that may keep a brain-damaged woman alive, in a case pitting Christian conservatives against right-to-die activists.
[Nitpicker emphasis]

But, escaping from this unprecedented madness (just when you think they can't get any more absurd), did anyone catch the West Virginia/Wake game last night ... sweet (sixteen).

Update: Yeah, what he said.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

How do you recite the pledge in "Dumbass"?

So, from MSNBC, I see this:

A ninth-grader is protesting his school’s decision to broadcast the Pledge of Allegiance in foreign languages as part of National Foreign Language Week.

Patrick Linton said he and other students at Old Mill High School sat down rather than stand Wednesday when the pledge was read over the school’s public address system in Russian. Linton’s teacher told him if he had a problem he should leave the room.

He did, and did not plan to return this week.

“This is America, and we got soldiers at war,” the 15-year-old said. “When you’re saying the Pledge in a different language which nobody understands, that’s not OK.”

Charles Linton, Patrick’s father, said the use of other languages is disrespectful to the country. “It’s like wearing a cross upside down in a church,” he said.

Now, considering this kid's dad is obviously dimmer than the other bulbs, I can't really blame a 15-year-old for finding this scary. Doesn't Fox News tell him every day that his country is under siege from spooky furriners who want to take his dad's job and bring the United States to its knees? What I would like to do is take the kid aside and let him know that, here in Afghanistan, I've met numerous soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines whose first language was not english. In fact, I've met five soldiers -- two Poles, a Russian, a Pakistani and a Mexican -- who didn't speak any English until they joined the military.

Postcript: I'd also like to mention to Chuck that the inverted cross is also known as the "Cross of St. Peter." As the Church father Origen wrote: "Peter was crucified at Rome with his head downwards, as he himself had desired to suffer." It's a symbol of his humility, as he said he wasn't worthy to be crucified as Christ was. I think there are some who find it less than disrespectful.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Bunnies, Nazis and Hypocrites

Note: I handed Nitpicker over to C.J. Finis over a year ago, when my National Guard unit was called to active duty. While I'm not home yet, I've decided to return to posting, though there are areas which, as a currently active duty soldier, I will have to avoid. For anyone who has a problem with my doing this, I would remind them that there are numerous military blogs dealing with issues from all angles.

I rarely tune into “The O’Reilly Factor.” Despite the limited number of channels here in Afghanistan, self-aggrandizing gives me a headache and his special brand of spin sets off a particularly miserable neural chain reaction. He says he’s “fair and balanced” with a wink, but has called Democratic legislators and writers “nuts” and “loons” and, in one case, a “Castro confidant.” Still, he’ll sit across from Fox spokesman Zell Miller—who all but challenged Chris Matthews to a duel—and act as if the man is as sane as Sunday. It should suffice to say I’ve never heard him call a conservative a nut, much less a sitting Republican senator.

Sure, he’ll say that he’s taken the Bush administration to task, but only when they’re not conservative enough. For example, he’d love to line National Guardsmen along the border to Mexico and sic local police on illegal immigrants. He never says, though, where he would come up with these extra Guardsmen in a service already suffering from recruiting problems. He also argues that the ACLU is evil because it doesn’t want local police arresting illegal immigrants. Of course, if local police start arresting illegal aliens then those same aliens won’t go to the police when they are wronged. O’Reilly seems to think that illegal immigrants simply deserve to be robbed, beaten or raped. The price you pay, it seems, for entering the U.S. illegally.

Either that or he’s just failed to think the issue through. I’d forgive him for that, if he could ever deign to admit to such a thing.

Lately, though, O’Reilly has cranked the cognitive dissonance knob up to 11.

In a series of tirades (and a column) against Buster the Bunny—PBS’s cartoon rabbit who ticked off conservatives by sending a video “postcard” from two Vermont maple syrup farms operated by lesbian couples—he has charged that a lot of families led by a “mommy and a daddy” don’t want to have to explain the lesbian lifestyle and, therefore, gay couples shouldn’t be shown to children. He wrote that “introducing homosexuality into the little kid culture angers many Americans who believe sex in general is an inappropriate topic for small children.” However, one wonders how introducing a homosexual couple would lead children to think about sex any more than introducing mommy and daddy. Sure, kids will notice something’s different, but only someone who sees sex everywhere—like the accused threesome-recommender and loofahist O’Reilly himself—looks at a loving couple and thinks sex, sex, sex… Children will just see two women who live in a house together.

While this self-exposing leap of logic alone wouldn’t make for an especially noticeable O’Reilly commentary—it seems possible the man could hold conversations with himself, one side of his mouth talking to the other—he made a comment a couple of nights after attacking Buster which sent the pains shooting into my head again. He ended a segment about how treacherous liberal academics and publishers are supposedly “dumbing down” the teaching of history to children by challenging parents and grandparents to perform a little “experiment.” He suggested they pull the children in their life aside and “ask them what happened at Auschwitz. Just ask them.”

This seems an odd suggestion from O’Reilly because, as a former history teacher, he should know that along with the Jews, gypsies and communists killed at Auschwitz, Sachsenhausen and other concentration camps, thousands of homosexuals lost their lives to the Nazi killing machine. How does O’Reilly, defender of history, believe it’s possible for children to know the full truth about Auschwitz if they can’t even know of the existence of homosexuals? And, somehow, it’s right to introduce children to the horrors of the holocaust but homosexuality is beyond the pale?

Perhaps O’Reilly wouldn’t have minded if Buster had sent a postcard from Flossenburg.