19 May 2006

Why do I hate TOURISTS, you ask?

Deep down, I hate the vast majority of tourists!

I work in the District of Columbia, in one one of the hottest spots for these spring and summer cicada like creatures. They start to appear much like the 17 year annoyances - first a few pop out after the break of winter. Then they start to multiply exponentially and before you know it they are swarming all over, bumping into you, chirping and buzzing about with the ooh's and aah's of surprised wonderment.

"Ooh, look Jethro! A three story building! They sure don't have those back home! Quick take a picture of me near this wacky sign! It says... meee... maa... meee? What's a meet-ro?"

There's so much to hate about tourists. Where do I begin?
  • Well there's the fact that nothing is more annoying on my morning subway commute than having tourists snapping pictures of each other and of the train and of the station names with their little green disposable cameras.
  • Then, they want to stand on the left hand side of the escalator when they can clearly see those of us with briefcases and workbags marching up the left side to get to our offices.
  • Then there is the fact that once they come above ground they just stop at random intervals to stare at nothing in particular! They just figure, I'm sightseeing, so everything else in the world should stop so I can stare at the cloud in the sky that looks like Spiro Agnew. I just want to scream - "Move your ass out the walkway so we can go where we have to go!"
  • Then there's the fact that when the boys and girls club from east Doo-Wah-Diddy, Idaho wants to go into a restaurant or building - the chaperones just let the kids pile up in the middle of the sidewalk completely blocking it off from those of us trying to get back from our little 10 minute lunch at Pot Bellies! I've gotten to the point now where I just walk right through them saying, "Make way! I'm carrying explosives!" (That scares the shit out of most of those kids! I love to do that!!!)
  • But my biggest biggest biggest gripe is simply - I hate the way tourists treat us DC regulars. They treat us as if we are part of the scenery, part of the experience. They walk in front of us, cut us off, expect us to wait minutes at a time while they get uncle Jimbo in focus on their camcorders. The kids run into us without saying, "Excuse me." I think to most tourists, they just see each other. The rest of us are drones, shadows and phantoms that make DC... Well...DC.

Seeing the behavior of these yearly visitors has made me try hard to keep in mind the way I treat people when I visit a new place. I try to remember that everybody is a somebody, maybe they're going to work when I'm in Vegas; maybe they are going to school when I'm in LA; maybe they're just enjoying a day off in the park when I'm in New York. I have to remember that they are unique individuals that happen to live, work and play in the town that I am visiting and they are worthy of a "Hello." or a "Hey, how's it going?" - but they are not part of the backdrop, they are not sprinkles of salt on my french fries. They are people.


(Make Exxon pay for the Valdez! It's been 17 years and not one cent of the $5 billion court settlement has been paid to the victims of the worst oil spill in history. Even after $36 billion in 2005 profits, the greedy bastards behind Exxon still thumb their noses at the destroyed lives and lifestyle of the people in Prince William Sound, Alaska)

17 May 2006

Conspiracy Theory - TRUE or FALSE


With the release of this new blurred footage of "something" hitting the Pentagon on 9/11 has anything been resolved? I mean, in the age of PhotoShop and all this stuff - can we even trust photos and video?

Before I go any further, I want to state that I am 95% confident that three planes, ALL controlled by terrorists, crashed into the World Trade towers and the Pentagon and that 4th plane was shot down over southern Pennsylvania by US military aircraft. My remaining 5% is like my 3rd eye still seeking additional information.

Personally, I just can't believe a missile was used on the Pentagon. God knows I don’t trust this current regime running our nation, but honestly, the stakes to this Government and this country are too high for a broad daylight stunt like a missile strike. It is far easier to simply pull off an explosives laden truck bomb at the Pentagon and blame it on al Qaeda. And besides – Osama bin Laden has publicly taken responsibility for the attacks. Imagine if he denied them! Imagine if he said, "Sure, my guys hit the towers. But we didn't send anybody after the Pentagon! That was done by the American's themselves!" Could you imagine the uproar? Citizens would still be dragging Bush and Cheney’s corpses up and down Pennsylvania Avenue!!! There simply isn't enough for the US to gain by striking our own Pentagon.

I love a good conspiracy – but there just isn’t one waiting in the ashes of the Pentagon. Now – SHANKSVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA is another story.

I will probably always believe that flight 93 was shot down by F16’s or F18’s.
I will believe this for several reasons:
1. There was enough time from the attacks at the WTC for the FAA to discover that flight 93 was hijacked and there was time for it to be intercepted.
2. On the morning of 9/11 – Dick Cheney gave orders, “Pursuant to the Presidents instructions,” for fighter pilots to “take out” any threatening planes.
3. On the morning of 9/11 – Dick Cheney also stated “It’s my understanding they’ve already taken a couple of aircraft out,” meaning US jets shot down one or more planes.
4. The debris field in Shanksville, PA had little to no actual plane fuselage at the impact site. In addition, human remains and belongings were found over two miles from the crash site, and in a lake SIX miles from the impact site – more crash debris was found.
I believe this plane was hit with a missile, partially exploded – spraying debris across a wide area and hit the ground in a flaming, disintegrating mass .

I’m confident that someone high up made a quick decision that morning to conceal and deny the fact that the plane was shot down. It was probably the best choice that could be made at the time, with limited knowledge of what was going on and no idea of what 9/12 held in store for us. As much as I’d like to say something negative about the Bush administration in this instance, I can’t. A shoot down was clearly the best choice under the circumstances and considering that hundreds or even thousands of lives hung in the balance between Shanksville and Washington DC. A tough call had to be made, and I’m pretty confident that it was the right call. Seeing as though on 9/11 I was in that line between Shanksville and DC, so was my wife and unborn child and a great number of people I care about. That plane could have come down anywhere and harmed any of them – so I’m grateful to whatever brought that plane down.


15 May 2006

The Once Great Kingdom

I fully expect this blog and every other blog originating from the United States and containing the letters B-U-S-H with a capital “B” to be recorded, traced and tracked. By whom, you ask? The NSA of course!

Last week, as most people know, it was leaked to the press that the NSA was recording the numbers dialed by tens of millions of American telephone users. The Bush administration scrambled with their usual, “Trust me, I’m the president - it’s okay because I say it’s okay. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!!!” And, when people tried to say, “What about our privacy?” Bush was quick to throw out a parade of his favorite catch phrases. “Since 9/11…” and “War or terror! War of terror!” and “To fight terrorists…”

All I can say is, for any American above the age of 12 – we need to pay careful attention to everything that goes on in this presidents administration. We need to watch his nominations, we have to watch his claims, we need to watch what he signs and what he vetoes, we need to watch his government – because this country is making a rapid ascension into fascism.

Just for the record, according to the American Heritage Dictionary – FASCISM is “A philosophy or system of government that is marked by stringent social and economic control, a strong, centralized government usually headed by a dictator, and often a policy of belligerent nationalism.”

We stand here in the gap of history where-in our 230 year old democracy is quickly coming to an end. We have a president that breaks the laws with impunity; a president who had his cronies and his lackeys trump up the most unbelievable lies and tales to lead this country to war; a president who encourages his intelligence agencies not to go into the nooks and crannies around the globe to fight terrorists – but instead commands them to violate his own citizens rights and privacy and this little thing called The Constitution. And, to make matters worse – both houses of congress are controlled by the most crooked, immoral and self serving Republican party in the history of this nation.

One of my biggest, newest, fears is that somehow Bush will manage to turn this country so far around that we will never be able to get ourselves back on track and moving toward true prosperity. George Bush has alienated us from our global allies; he has lied and gotten us into a 350 billion dollar – un-winnable war for nothing more than personal revenge; he has lied and cost 2400 Americans their lives; tens of thousands of Iraqis their lives; he has put in place comfy tax breaks for the richest 2% of Americans – who he has proudly and publicly called, “His base”. I simply fear that this man has destroyed a once proud and a once great nation.

12 May 2006

A wondrous miracle of nature...


A wondrous miracle of nature has happened!

A female polar bear and a male grizzly bear have successfully mated and produced an offspring in the great frozen north of Canada!

While this has happened several times in captivity under the careful watch of zoologists, scientists and veterinarians, this magnificent creature was born and raised strictly under the watchful eyes of God and its polar mother and grizzly father!

I bet it was incredible to see this creature in the wild! Hunting, swimming, eating fish, climbing trees, running across the snowy frozen north through blizzards and snow squalls!

But now, its dead!

Yup, this miracle of nature, this rare genetic combination, this brand new species in the wild, is dead. Some dude from Idaho shot and killed the bear a few days ago.

I'm a little torn about that. Personally, I don't have an issue with hunting when its for food. I do however have a problem with these so called "Sport hunters" that like to kill things so they can display pelts and heads in their trophy rooms. I'm pretty sure this guy came up from Idaho so he could bring back a thick, beautiful polar bear hide to adorn his floor in front of his fire place. And now, this incredible animal is dead.

Now, I don't know anything about the guy that killed this bear. I haven't seen or read any interviews from him - but I can't help but wonder if he would have still pulled the trigger with this bear in his sights if he had known what a rare creature he was about to murder. I certainly hope he wouldn't have.


04 May 2006

Still Deadly...

"Ha, Ha! Hee, Hee!"
Okay – we've all had our laugh.
Or have we?

Everybody is whispering and chuckling over the latest footage of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi fumbling with an automatic rifle in the desert. People actually think this is funny.

"He's so dumb! He can't even shoot a rifle and clear a jam!"

"Ha, ha, he needed help from that other guy!"

"How tough is he supposed to be? His gun jammed!"

Trust me when I say, I am far from defending this piece of trash al-Zarqawi, but we need to get serious here and stay focused. See, the US media likes to try and spin situations and sway public opinion with little games and things like videos of people's flubs. These stunts are meant to humanize and belittle people – to make them less than what they really are. But, Abu Masab is far too dangerous a man for the American media to trivialize because of a gun jam.

As a person who has [legally] fired a high powered automatic rifle – on fully auto – there are certainly a million other 'more funny' things that can happen than a jammed weapon. And needing someone to clear a jam for you is certainly not a funny matter. So frankly, it makes the US media and the Bush Administration look desperate and scared when they have to resort to that kind of footage as an effort to shame our enemies.

Just because this man didn't know how to clear a rifle, it makes him no less dangerous. Just because this man didn't know how to clear a rifle, it doesn't make the thousands of people he's killed any less dead. Just because this man didn't know how to clear a rifle, it doesn't bring him any closer to capture by our forces.

Let's give George W an H&K MP5 and send him off to the range with a couple thousand rounds and see if he can clear a jam. Maybe we should give Dick Cheney a… nevermind – bad example! Maybe we should give Donald Rumsfeld and Dr. Condi Rice a couple of RPK74's or L86's and let them have at it for awhile and see how they handle jams. I'm willing to bet that they'd look about as inefficient as al-Zarqawi. And yet – seeing them with jammed guns would make them no less powerful and no less hungry for war and power.

When it comes to people like Zarqawi, we need not try to shame them by showing them having jammed weapons and needing help. We need to shame them by hauling them into American court rooms; we need to shame them by hauling them into the Hague; we need to shame them by putting bombs on them and bullets in them. We need to stay focused and stay serious. This is not the time for games.