Monday, February 26, 2007

Gore wins Oscar...

I didn't watch the Oscars last night but I hear Al Gore took home the award for An Inconvenient Truth.

Saw this documentary several months ago and it completely exceeded my expectations. A very convincing presentation.

I'm sure that this Oscar will increase the pressure on Gore to consider running for President. As Hillary and Obama continue sniping at each other the draft-Gore movement is bound to pick up momentum. Will he run? I still think it's possible. What do you think?

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The media sinks lower into the gutter...

This week the MSM sank to a new level with the Anna Nicole story. We have some very serious issues confronting the American people, including a deadly war in Iraq, but all we've heard about is the legal fight over what to do with a dead woman's body.

It is not just the cable channels that dishing up this ghoulish story. Yesterday morning all three national networks led off their morning shows with on-the-scene reports from a Florida courthouse. The whole affair makes a joke of our legal system.

It is not surprising that the media is held in such low esteem. They have totally trivialized the news business.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Another fallen hero...

Photo shows Raymond Harris (second from right) watching the coffin of his daughter, Marine Captain Jennifer J. Harris, being carried to her funeral in Swampscott, Massachussetts.
Harris and six other service members died when the helicopter she was piloting was shot down in Iraq's Anbar province.
A remarkable young woman who was greatly admired in her community. Our thoughts and prayers are with the grieving family.
(Photo: Darren McMCollester /Getty Images)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A grieving mother...

Photo shows Joanna Hawthorne, the mother of US Army Staff Sgt. Edward Carman, sitting in a folding chair she brought to her son's graveside in McKeesport, Pennsylvania.

For a year after Carman's death, Hawthorne took a chair to the cemetery nearly every day. Almost half of the more than 3,100 US military casualties in Iraq have come from small towns like McKeesport, where fewer than 25,000 people live.

Occasionally I publish photos like this one of a grieving mother to bring home the real cost of the war in Iraq. So many heartbroken people.

(Photo: Keith Srakocic / AP)

Monday, February 19, 2007

Should Hillary Clinton be punished for supporting the war?

Lots of debate going on in Left Blogistan about Hillary Clinton's decision not to apologise for her vote in support of the invasion of Iraq four years ago.

Senator Clinton, in refusing to apologize for her support of the war, believes we should now focus on the FUTURE and on getting the troops out of that meat grinder that Iraq has become. This past weekend she seemed to smackdown those looking for an apology.

How will of this play out for Senator Clinton over the next few months? I'm inclined to think that as the situation deteriorates in Iraq Hillary is going to find herself under more pressure from the anti-war activists. Where does she turn for support? Maybe she can run a Lieberman-style campaign dumping a lot of money into the effort to convince voters that she really wants to bring the troops home ASAP.

I expect we will know by Labor Day whether the Clinton campaign have a winning or a loosing strategy. What do you think?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Abandoning New Orleans...

A year ago Ms. Larsen and Mr. Langlois were hopeful New Orleanians eager to rebuild and improve the city they adored. But now they have joined hundreds of the city's best and brightest who have made the wrenching decision to leave.
As I indicated in my post yesterday, there is a diminishing sense of possibility. This has a lot to do with a lack of confidence in local leadership.
(Photo: Lee Celano / The New York Times)

Labels: ,

Friday, February 16, 2007

In set-back for New Orleans, citizens give up...

I picked up the New York Times this morning to find this very depressing story on the front page, above the fold.

According to the NYT story, hundreds of the City's best and brightest are leaving New Orleans, driven away by crime, high rents and what many say is a dissipating sense of possibility. The situation seems to go from bad to worse.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Nancy Pelosi: A class act!

Last night I had the opportunity to see an extended interview of Speaker Nancy Pelosi on PBS's NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. What a class act!! No bi-partisan vitriol or ad hominum attacks. I could not help comparing her performance with previous performances by Newt Ginghrich and Tom Delay. We are blessed to have a Speaker who is a uniter --- not a divider.

Speaker Pelosi has just started publishing this blog. It's called The Gavel.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

More chaos in Iraq...

Photo shows an Iraqi running past a building in flames after a double car bomb attack in central Baghdad, Iraq, yesterday.

Three car bomb explosions at Baghdad's oldest market killed at least 71 people, charring families in their cars, shredding stores, and setting ablaze a seven-story clothing warehouse, where black smoke billowed for hours.

These dreadful bombings seem to be a daily occurrence. Last night when Lara Logan (CBS) described this latest bombing she said that additional U.S. troops were not likely to be able to put an end to this chaos.

In the meantime, we are hearing all kinds of accusations against Iran for the mess in Iraq. I guess we need to make someone a scapegoat.

(Photo: Khalid Mohammed / AP)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Happy Chinese New Year!

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend a Chinese New Year Spectacular at the Opera House in Boston. The show, produced by New Tang Dynasty Television, included dance, song and pantomine honoring the great cultural traditions of the Chinese people. A most entertaining evening honoring China's rich cultural history.

This new year marks the Year of the Boar.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Its Official -- Obama in the race...

My theory is that Obama is running with a view to becoming the VP candidate on the Hillary Clinton ticket. Just a theory...but what do I know!?

I'm still expecting that Al Gore will get in the race...and he'll be the Democratic candidate in 2008.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Anna Nicole Smith...May she rest in peace...

This has not been a good week for women in the media. The week began with the mainstream media claiming that Nancy Pelosi was demanding a transcontinential jet to take her back and forth to San Francisco. If any of the reporters involved had taken Journalism 101 they should have known that this was misinformation. The person requesting the transportation was a member of the Senate staff responsible for such issues...not Mrs. Pelosi.

And then we had the media hysteria over a woman who is part of the NASA program having what may have been a psychotic break. The whole episode was a reminder to me that most in the mainstream media have little empathy or understanding for human fragility. And there is no consideration of the children involved.

And now we have the story about Anna Nicole. You know they are going to go ballistic over this story. They'll milk it for everything they can get out of it. Maybe someone will do a story about the scumbags who exploited this woman at every opportunity.

Update (Friday Morning):

All the television networks are all over the Nicole Smith story this morning. And the cable news channels now have All-Nicole-All-The-Time programming. We are not going to hear much about what is happening to our soldiers in Iraq for the next few days.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Still no real relief for the Gulf Coast...

Seventeen months after Hurricane Katrina, places like Pass Christian, Mississippi, still rely on temporary buildings, and many of the region's poorest people have found little relief from mental health and money problems.

Almost a year and a half after one of the most costly and deadly national disasters in the nation's history, there has been little evidence of state or federal investigations into alleged criminal activity by the insurance industry.

And Senator Lieberman, Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, wants no part of any investigation into the performance of the Bush Administration after Hurricane Katrina. I guess he is too busy promoting new taxes to support his favorite pet project --- the Iraqi War.

(Photo: Bill Haber / AP)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Your tax dollars at work...

Bush just presented his budget for the coming fiscal year to Congress. Everything you need to know can be summarized in one sentence: Bush Slashes Aid to Poor to Boost Iraq War Chest.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The issue of climate change...

An iceberg floats in the bay in Kulusuk, Greenland.

The UN climate panel agrees, in its starkest warning yet, that human activities are causing global warming that may bring more droughts, heatwaves and rising seas.

I few months ago I had the opportunity to see An Inconvenient Truth, the documentary produced by Al Gore and his associates. Came away believing that this issue of climate change is serious business.

(Photo: John Mcconnico / AP)

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Female member of National Guard laid to rest...

Cmd. Sgt. Maj. Marilyn Gabbard's husband and daughter lead the family to her funeral in Boone, Iowa.

Gabbard is the first female member of the Iowa National Guard to be killed in combat. As of January 12, there were 22,500 Army National Guard soldiers deployed among the 132,000 US troops in Iraq.

As I've noted here before, the fact that communities across America are burying their war casualties every day of the week, goes almost unnoticed in the mainstream media.
(Photo: Doug Wells / AP)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Mayor of Boston is pissed...

If you live in the New England area you know we had a major "terrorism crisis" in Boston yesterday. Highways were closed. Trains were cancelled. All of this because someone spotted something funny/unusual under a highway.

Not supprisingly, the anti-terrorism forces went to work immediately. As the day went on they were blowing up strange packages all over town.

We now know that the weird objects that were the focus of so much attention had been placed at various locations as part of some kind of promotional campaign.

My reaction is that we may have taken this anti-terrorism business too far. Do we need to shut down a city because someone spots a strange package? Did someone really think that Osama Bin Laden had something to do with these strange objects?

I understand why the Mayor of Boston is pissed over what happened yesterday morning. However, he and his colleagues in government might usefully examine their response to that unidentified object under the bridge. Maybe when it comes to terrorism, we all should chill out!