Where's Osama? Where's Osama? (Well, we know he's somewhere in Western Pakistan, awaiting his photo op in October, but that's not important right now.)
No, no... after giving the President credit for behaving like an adult, and announcing that the war on terror TM can not, actually, really be"won", the President promptly disappoints me, with his new marching orders from Karl, and, of course, told veterans in Tennessee, that, au contraire, the war on terror CAN be won!
While this presents a nice opportunity for Senators Kerry and Edwards to call Bush a flip-flopper, it's really a lost opportunity to call for an end to demagoguery and scaremongering, and invite a rational discussion of just how good or bad a job the Bush Administration has done in battling Al Qaeda and making the nation safer, and whether or not the calm, deliberative, mature junior senator from the Bay State can do a better job, or has better ideas on how to the job... or we can go back to fake terror alerts, and surprises (see "Osama").
Well, I watched the twin GOP-heavyweights (the Sainted John McCain and St. Rudy of Giuliani) with a very limited attention span last evening. But I tend to agree with this CNN assessment, that the "big moment" (used by both speakers as their spurious justification for extending the Bush power-grab by another four years) was that asinine shot of Dubya screaming through a bullhorn at firemen on 14 September, 2001 (little mentioned is the scene of Bush frantically washing himself afterwards to get the stench of Untouchable Caste members off of his body, or his immediate rush to get the hell out of New York, a City full of people who didn't vote for him). I recall distinctly the intervening 72 hours thinking what a worthless piece of shit Bush was for his COWARDLY REFUSAL TO COME TO NEW YORK ANY EARLIER. I didn't even think about his cowardly big-9-11-adventure, or the goat story. (BTW-- I think a lot more of Michael Moore for sitting there with his big grin at the GOP Convention, flashing the victory sign... seriously... can you imagine a pussy-shit like Bush sitting in a room full of people who hate him?)
Anyway, back to the RNC...to his credit (and the reason he continues to maintain the sainted moniker, even as I do think less of him for having endorsed Bush, even though I know it kills him to do so and he is doing it purely out of duty) McCain DID NOT use the occasion to bash or belittle his friend Senator Kerry (unlike, say, Rudy the Hatchet-- in the parlance of his father's reputed family business-- who had no problem doing that, just as he had no problem indicting people he knew to be innocent as a prosecutor or inciting rogue elements of his CIty's police force to be... rogues).
McCain, however, simply did what a MAN does: tell us why he feels George W. Bush is a better choice to lead us in the War against Some Terrorists. (BTW, a "war on terror" cannot be won: the Israelis find this out the hard way even today as over a dozen people were killed in bus bombings in Beersheba, and to his credit, the President admitted that we may never actually "win" the "war on terror".)
Well, duh. I pointed this out nearly three years ago in this column: a "war on terror" is asinine, and cannot "be won" anymore than a "war on crime" or a "war on drugs". Where Bush may be wrong is that a war against Al Qaeda (and Saudi sponsored terror) may unquestionably be won... but then, we finally see Bush's sudden mature perspective (which doubtless caused Karl Rove to age several years). Kerry, to his discredit, has jumped on this with "gotcha" sound-bites, rather than a substantive engagement that the swing state voters are desperate to hear from him.
On the "Man" theme, we go back to Senator Kerry, who gave us his reaction from a windsurfing trip on Nantucket (hey, I like it there myself; haven't been to Kennebunkport, but then, no one invited me). Senator Kerry has been blowing some good opportunities lately: Bush acknowledged that there were "failures" in conducting the war of aggression against Iraq. And Bush acknowledged the war on terror cannot be won. Senator Kerry has two GOOD options (or he could do both things): (1) calmly praise the President for his NEWFOUND candor and honesty, and promise to run a calm, rational, issue based campaign that doesn't involve FAKE TERROR ALERTS and scaremongering, and (2) ask the American people to make a calm, sober reflection of whether a frat-BOY coward deserter who shit in his pants on 9-11, or a career, calm, deliberative MAN senator who saved a Nevada Senator's life with a prompt Heimlich maneuver and was brave and decisive (if not necessarily Audie Murphy) in battle in Vietnam will be a better leader through what Bush ADMITS will likely be a war we can never truly win. If I were Senator Kerry, I would tell my 'Nam buddies to go home... that point has been made enough. The folks in key-state Wisconsin (where Bush has peaked too early and now leads, albeit within the margin of error) desperately want Kerry to answer the questions of how he will crush Al Qaeda and how he will extricate us from the Iraq quagmire-- and they do NOT want the words "Viet" or "Nam" as part of their answer.
Senator Kerry's reputation is that of "a closer"; I am quite certain he knows what to do. The GOP Convention signs read "A strong nation", because of course, they have a WEAK CANDIDATE. This week, in a City that hates him, will be George W. Bush's high water mark. Starting this Labor Day weekend, the regularly scheduled melt-down will continue. And THE MAN can step forward and tell us why he can lead us in these tough times, when THE [frat]BOY cannot.
In fact, the mayor wasn't kidding: an entire array of discounts for peaceful protestors has been made available.
We're not just talking Applebee's: we're talking discount tickets to Mamma Mia (the Abba related musical). Now, you can be a card-carrying protestor... and the card entitles you to... discounts!
From our mayor from the same party as our president who told us that the appropriate reaction to 9-11 was to go shopping, we give you... discounted shopping. Amurrka, she's a great country. Love it, or shove it, eh?
Your talking dog decided to waste his lunch hour by checking out "the street" around Madison Square Garden. I later went to "The Tank" at 432 W. 42nd Street, a few blocks North and West of the Garden, where "Blogger Alley" is set up; I was most pleased to shake the hands of visiting dignitary bloggers Jesse and Ezra of Pandagon, both of whom are (ahem) half my age; I hoped they solved their technical problem. Nice guys; hope to chat with them later in the week (work allowing). Being an "over 40", I don't know WiFi from Kung Fu, and hence, appeared at Blogger Alley sans laptop and wireless modum, and must alas return to a desk top unit for "street blogging".
I took a few pictures of the Garden area (and Ground Zero, near TD office), which I hope to post later (after I get them developed... over 40, ya' know).
The subways were unusually quiet; ridership resembles a Saturday or holiday more than a Monday (even a summer Monday). I took a quick ride to 34th Street, exited out the Northeast Corner of Penn Station to the street, which became a cul de sac for 15 minutes, as police cordoned off all four corners, while buses (I guess with delegates) passed by, or were choreographed, back and forth. I overheard an Arizona delegate announcing that John McCain was head of that state's delegation, and "Isn't it nice he's a Republican again?" Well, (the sainted John) McCain is a double-edged sword: he's yours for this week. He'll be talking tonight with ersatz saint and true whore Rudy Giuliani, as the GOP tries to (as always) present a more moderate face than the party platform (which, after all, was better in the original German) would lead one to believe.
One curious person waiting at the cul de sac (around 15 minutes before we could cross the street-- I like to exaggerate, but it was quite a while) asked me "How does business get done with this going on?" This being the virtual shutdown of central midtown traffic-- 7th Avenue and 34th Street, I venture to guess, is easily one of the 10 highest traffic intersections in the City, as Penn Station (and nearby Madison Square Garden) are caddy-cornered with Macy's. I responded, simply, "It doesn't." The other fellow nodded, acknowledging the virtual shutdown of the City. Certainly, anyone here at the office who could get away with not being here... is not here.
The streets were... quieter than usual, except for police, who are... everywhere, and in force. I find it less than funny that, if this is how the City reacts to be visited by a bunch of Americans, how it can possibly dream of having the Olympics. Then again, we probably won't, so no need to worry about that.
And now, on with the opera...
The New York Times is reporting that crowd estimates for yesterday's main anti-Bush protest rally were around half a million people.
Just as it seemed obvious to me that the Times and other press elements were desperate to understate the scope of anti-war protests last winter (at which I was present), largely because the Times, led by ersatz journalist Judith Miller (who they have still not fired) favored the American aggression against the people of Iraq, it seems like the tide may be turning, with little things like an accurate count of the number of people who showed up to protest Bush.
Interestinger and interestinger.
The lunatic defrocked priest, Cornelius Horan, who cost sportsman of the year Vanderlay Lima the gold medal in the Olympic marathon by jumping onto the course and tackling him was given a suspended sentence by a Greek kangaroo court. Assuming that Mr. Lima was, say, a Greek athlete, I suspect a life term for attempted murder would have been handed down.
I hope Mr. Lima is around in four years at Beijing. There, if the likes of Mr. Horan attempts to cross onto the course, I have little doubt that he'd be shot dead well before he disrupted the race. (Would that be... bad? Just asking.)
This is the sort of European disorder that was evident at the Tour de France, where various European assholes jumped onto the course trying to disrupt the performance of Texan Lance Armstrong, who showed them pussy Euros (especially John Kerry's country, France) that Amurrka rules anyway.
Well, we won't have none of that pussy anarchist disorder here in New York (where the GOP National Convention opens); our disorder will be organized and professional. To quote the late great Richard Daly, "the police are not here to create disorder; the police are here to preserve disorder."
Well, there sure are enough OF the police. I'll try to get out today and give you reports from the street...
Well... perhaps you can... Anyway, with thanks to Kathy Kinsley of On the Third Hand, we seem to be up and running again, albeit temporarily without archives.
It seems that all those SOBs who spammed the older comment threads with endless ads for pornography, viagara and psychotrophic drugs finally overloaded all those gigashmites of bandwidth we thought we had... causing a database crash. Given just how close this occurred to the GOP Convention, those of you prone to conspiracy theories can jump right in!
Anyway, Kathy tells me we now have anti-spam countermeasures, that should hopefully, keep us up and running for... ever. For those of you who want to see recent posts and comments, someone (who isn't me) seems to have set up a Live Journal mirror site; and the google cache seems to have everything (so far). Whoever you are, thank you.
As many of you know, Jim Henley and I are planning an assault on D.C.'s Marine Corps Marathon on Halloween (for added masochistic joy, I will then run the ING New York City Marathon the following week; and possibly another one later in the year, depending on how the MMC goes); hence it was with peculiar horror that I watched the travesty that took place in the Olympic marathon as a crazed and drunken priest from Ireland screaming about the second coming jumped onto the course and tackled lead runner Vanderlay Lima from Brazil, costing him valuable seconds and momentum (he ended up with the bronze medal) allowing the Italian and American runners to pass him. If the IOC has an ounce of decency (and its well established that they do not have so much as a microgram of decency), they will award Lima some kind of honorary gold medal. (I assume most people don't really care about this; it just happens to be "my sport", even as I'd be lucky to finish within three hours of any of these guys).
Finally, initial reports of "the big protest" (didn't get back from the undisclosed location in time for it) show that it was peaceful. Please God, may we have that kind of a week.
Oh well... let us start anew.