My week

It’s March! I’m going to make it through this year if it kills me. Want to know how my week went? Ok cool.

On Monday Laura & I saw Barack Obama at WSU:

He is a good man and he’ll be president in 11 months.

On Tuesday Dennis sent me this photo:
How does this glorify God?
This was posted in the Student Center on an Air Force ROTC ad. Neither of us know who stuck the note there, but it made my day.

On Wednesday I watched Once:

I fell in love with Marketa Irglova.On Thursday my friends and I showed The Corporation on campus:

Over 35 students showed up and I think they found it eye-opening.On Friday I watched Taxi to the Dark Side:

If there’s a physical lake of fire for everlasting torment, then Bush will surely be there. I would love to show this film on campus too, but this school isn’t ready. We will be showing No End in Sight in mid-March though.

My Cedars article this week was fairly mediocre, made worse by haphazard editing that was beyond my control that left it fairly incoherent & disjointed. I may post more of my writing here at a later time since the truth is, somebody’s opened the spigot and the Cedars bucket can’t keep up.

Military-industrial complex

“[The] conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower (January 17, 1961)


The Wrong Surge

I highly recommend reading The Wrong Surge by Lawrence Kaplan; published in The New Republic originally, I’m linking to this off-site reproduction because TNR has pesky registration. TNR also did an interview with Kaplan that’s worth reading. “The Wrong Surge” also provides good background for this Newsweek article: “In For the Long Haul” by Michael Hirsch. Lastly, another TNR article that may or may not require registration: “A Different Country” by Peter Beinart.

These articles confirm what I’ve thought since Bush’s announcement of the 20k troop surge: it’s too damn little. Before the invasion General Eric Shinseki predicted we’d need hundreds of thousands of troops in Iraq… the White House scoffed (Wolfowitz & Rumsfeld in particular). Army secretary Thomas White was fired for defending Shinseki. Four years later this administration has been forced to eat crow and admit that Shinseki was right all along. We currently have a bit over 150,000 troops in Iraq. General David Petraeus, now in charge of US forces over there, has estimated we’d need 120,000 to take Baghdad alone. So what does Bush suggest? 20,000 to Iraq total, though most are going to Baghdad (the one place in Iraq that Kaplan argues we can’t realistically win anytime soon). Since Congress and the American people are highly unlikely to support more than doubling our troop levels in Iraq, where does that leave us?

One last note — in Kaplan’s article you’ll notice the repeated discussion of al-Qaeda in Iraq. You win +10 points if you understand why this is deeply, tragically ironic.

The Ground Truth

“Things Overheard In the Only Coffee Shop In Town” was a better idea in theory than it actually turned out to be. I posted it because I can’t post what I really want to. Because I can’t really find the words. It’s 0 degrees outside, I’m listening to Van Morrison, and I’m absolutely livid. I have been in a state of suppressed rage for 24 hours because I simply cannot believe how much shit is going down in Iraq. I can’t even wrap my mind around it, can’t process it. How, realistically, do you deal with the sick waste of life occuring there?

I should probably point out that my anger is, more or less, a result of viewing the documentary The Ground Truth. Needless to say, the film is powerful.

Recent Charitable Giving at CU

A comparison of charitable giving at Cedarville:

Asian tsunami Hurricane Katrina Pakistan earthquake
Death toll: 286,000 1,250 79,000
CU giving: $14,000 $115,157 $0.00
Dollars/death: $0.05 $92 $0.00

Here’s my semi-unrelated question: only 37% of Americans now support George W. Bush. What percentage of CU students do you think still support him, and why the discrepancy (assuming one) between the general populace and ours?

A.C. Newman is a Superstud

It’s true, I’m somewhat on a New Pornographer’s kick. Did you know their frontman has an awesome solo album out? No, you didn’t. But he does. For your listening pleasure: A.C. Newman’s “On The Table” (4.5meg .mp3). Try it, you’ll like it.

Hey this is positive: I finally finished Paul Feig’s Superstud: Or How I Became a 24-Year-Old Virgin. I’d recommend it if you woke up this morning with a desire to read a painfully awkward coming-of-age story about the (non)sex-life of a geek.

Now see a George Bush doll become an Emperor George II doll.

Happy ‘The Homeless Man Went To Her High School’ Day!

p.s. – on a different note, has anybody out there read Mister God, This Is Anna by Fynn?

Bushie Needs to Tinkle

Sarah told me yesterday that some company sells Dr. Pepper-flavored chapstick, which I’m now going to start using obsessively. I think it will be really convenient for my Dr. Pepper-obsessed girlfriend because then she would end up eating a lot of Dr. Pepper on a pretty regular basis.

You know how to tell how badly a “favor” is going to inconvenience you? The time between the question and the task required. A long pause means certain doom.
“Hey can you do me a favor and pass the salt?”
“Hey can you do me a favor… and drop off my movies at Blockbuster?”
“Hey can you do me a favor… … … and loan me $5k?”
A comedian told me this some time ago and I remembered this afternoon while eavesdropping on Brenton and T. Lois.

Wired News: Killer Buzz Flocks to New Browser. You’ll notice how witty this headline is when you discover the new browser (which does sound cool) is named Flock.

“How to Tell a True War Story” by Tim O’Brien, from The Things They Carried. Recommended by both The Petersen and myself.

The scribbling in the photo to the left reads: “I think I MAY NEED A BATHroom break? IS this POSSIBLE?” Yep, that’s Dubya during a UN Security Council meeting.


Good news: The Dandy Warhols just released their new cd, Odditorium or Warlords of Mars. Check it.

WaPo: “A Sad Truth: Cities Aren’t Forever” – “The city of New Orleans is not going to be rebuilt…”

Google circa 1997. Be sure to check out the pic page.

Like most Americans (even Joelle soon?), I want to know why our Commander-in-Chief is a clown. “Now They Tell Us”, also in the Washington Post, explores the real George Bush.

Ok many of you are probably familiar with the news story about authorities finding 11 children in Ohio locked up in “cages,” right? Let me make it clear from the outset: I do not condone what was done nor recommend their parental methods. But reading this story sheds way more light on the issue. So quick to demonize aren’t we? In reality what we have is nosy neighbors and media ruining the life and reputation of parents trying to care for the neglected and unwanted. These were 11 adopted kids, all with mental and physical disorders who, in the care of the Gravelles, were/became “polite, well-behaved, well-dressed, [and] well-fed.” The eight children in “cages” – covered cribs really – only slept there (not “lived”) and the whole thing was done at the suggestion of a licensed psychiatrist. For trying (albeit misguidedly) to care for The Other – kids nobody else wants to even touch – the Gravelles are rewarded with extensive, negative media coverage and the ire of minivan-driving mothers who want to feel self-righteous because — despite being too busy for their own children, obscenely berating them for spilling milk and acting like kids — at least they don’t put their kids in “cages.”

I’m Employed Again, For Now.

I got a job at Gap?

Yet again, Kerry really did fantastic tonight. Bush was semi-coherent at times so I was impressed. At least he didn’t say internets again. The movie night, on the other hand, was a near-disaster. Hopefully the two who attended actually enjoyed it.

Tonight I heard someone ramble on about how this makes no sense: “All men are equal but some are more equal than others.” So I point out that it’s from Animal Farm and he’s all “yeah I love Animal Farm but the quote makes no sense.” I know, that’s the point. It’s not supposed to be logical. “But if we’re all equal but then… seriously, it’s not funny and it’s absurd.” Wow. By “I love Animal Farm” he must’ve meant “I enjoy a story with talking animals.”

Two blogs by Christians who would’ve gotten kicked out of Cedarville:

Bad Christian – via Brian Holt

The Parish – via Allison Martin

  • Foos ball champ – over their heads!
  • Deer’s 25-mile bumper trip
  • 9 found dead in suspected Internet suicide pacts
  • Going Upriver: the long war of John Kerry – free download, I may watch it tonight and report later.
  • Cedarville Gets Punk’d

    Today President Bush & Co. passed through my tiny college town en route from one rally to another. The college rumor mill hyped the event because Bush “might” stop for an impromptu meet and greet.

    There is only one real road in town, US-72, and I think all of Cedarville (and then some) was out to take pictures of Ground Force One. The non-event was complete with parade-like lawn chairs, the local school marching band, and piped-in Lee Greenwood. Our orgy of presidential obsession was almost palpable as all 3000+ of us crammed together in hopes he’d stop to shake a hand and remind us of the war on “terra.”

    Everybody screamed and yelled frantically as the motorcade made its way through but suddenly something went very wrong: nobody was slowing down.

    Yes folks, several thousand eager faces drooped in confusion and disappointment as those pretty air-conditioned pimpmobiles rolled right on by with a simple honk here and toot there. In reality, his entourage looked much like Kerry’s, just with more buses, more tinting, and more M16’s. We spent 40% of our town budget on free ice cream and extra police only to see some random AP photographer snap a few of the desperate masses.

    It occured to me that this afternoon was much like the entire race. I hope I don’t stretch my analogy too far when I say it really has been all fanfare and no results. Each side just beats their drums really loud, passes out free ice cream bars to the swing voters, and hopes they won’t have to slow down and answer real questions. Why stop the propaganda machine for honest dialogue? Do I really care if Kerry actually named the gun he used to shoot himself in the leg? I want to know, practically and concretely, how he’s going to ‘fix’ Iraq. Do I really care from which dealer Bush bought his 8-ball of coke some 30 years ago? Instead of all this press over Kitty Kelley, why don’t you tell us how Bush plans to jump-start this economy. In reality we all gather around, get our hopes up, yell at our enemies and cheer for the home team, then watch as the buses (and dialogue on the real issues) roll right past us.

    Recent History

    You know I’ve been thinking lately how history is going to treat 9/11-Afghanistan-Osama-Iraq-Saddam and of course Bush and the war. What will my kids be reading in their history books? What will be the legacy – what’s remembered, what’s forgotten? No doubt Saddam’s capture will be a date that gets written down, but how much of all this surrounding controversy will even be mentioned in high school or middle school textbooks? Let’s pretend Dean gets the DNC nomination and then loses the 2004 election…will Howard Dean even be a name my grandkids have ever heard of?