I Mania

I have to admit that I do want an iphone. I like the way it looks. I like the way it feels and most important, I can see the buttons, not that an iphone even has buttons. But at $600.00 I can wait. Besides I just renewed my old verizon contract, so I’m out of the phone market for a couple of years. By then, Apple should have worked out all the bugs in the iphone.

I already have an ipod and although I love it to death, it has bugs...millions of them. I wish I had waited to buy it, but I couldn’t resist the thought of having my entire music collection in my pocket.

Iphones make me realize that I am getting old because despite my desire to own one, I can’t believe that a telephone can be a status symbol. I’ve had my younger friends, meaning those young enough to be my grandkids, actually check out my phone to see what I choose to carry. From these conversations I have learned that the more your phone can do, or the more it costs, then the higher your status.

I’m sorry, but a phone is still a phone to me. It replaces the need to have to find a pay phone like the ones that used to populate street corners. My contract offers free phones in exchange for company loyalty. So every couple of years, I choose the most expensive phone that I can get for free. I also need to be able to read the buttons since my eyes no longer work as well as they used to. I carry this sleek black number that is web ready, bluetooth ready, mp3 equipped, and has a camera and also shoots video. Most importantly, it was free.

I’ve played with all the features, but basically, after I’m done playing, it’s still just a phone, a convenience that keeps me from having to search for one on the corner in order to reach out and touch when I need to.

Knowing me, I will eventually own an iphone. But it won’t be for a couple of years and the phone itself will probably be into it’s third or fourth generation. By then the kinks will be gone, and it won’t cost so much. And I will have a better understanding of phone as status symbol, I guess...maybe...maybe not..


America Mismanaged

Wow! Gasoline prices have dropped seven cents per gallon in the past week. Man! I need to fire up my 25 gallon vehicle and drive to my nearest filling station for a fill up. Look at all the money I can save! At this rate, next week I can probably afford to buy a Big Mac for lunch.

And don’t say go buy a smaller car. Some of us can’t afford to change cars like we change underwear. With the price of these alleged gas saving hybrids, it will be a long time before I purchase a newer car much less a hybrid.

Tainted Justice
Colin Powell says Gitmo should be shutdown immediately. Defense Secretary Robert Gates calls Guantanamo a “taint” on the reputation of America. Powell was the only member of the Bush Administration who was against opening the facility in the first place. Both Gates and Powell say the facility harms America’s image abroad. Does Dubya care? Is Condi listening? By the way, where is Condi these days?

Powell also apologized for his part in getting us into this civil war. He said the situation in Iraq was mismanaged from jump street and run by amateurs.

Bush says he is going to reopen the push for immigration reform when he returns from his trip overseas. I wonder......is he just talking about our southern border with the brown people of Mexico or is he also talking about our porous northern border with pale Canada? You will recall that the TB guy was let into this country through Canada despite being on everyone’s keep out list. The border guard said TB guy “looked okay to him.” If you’ve seen him in his news appearances, TB guy looks just like all the guys in the Bush Administration as well as all the other guys who are considered masters of the universe. Others who have tried to come through Canada, like Moussoui the 9/11 would be hijacker, were stopped and arrested. What happened. Guess he didn’t “look okay.” He is certainly not a master of the universe.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend?!- CNN
We are going to give guns to the Sunnis to fight Al Quaeda in Iraq....now that looks like a plan...well thought out...Question....are we going to pull out our troops first before they get caught in an even bigger crossfire? If my memory serves me correctly, didn’t we use to arm Al Quaeda too?

Bombing Iran
Jolting Joe Lieberman wants to bomb Iran. Like our military isn’t already stretched enough. Why don’t we just go ahead and hit North Korea and China while we’re at it. Note to you war happy politicians....if you want to fight, pick up a gun and go fight, but leave the rest of us alone.
Aggressive military action is being talked up by guys in power who spent all their youth avoiding the military......Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Romney, Guiliani....to name a few.. The guys and women who have been to war don’t want to go back, with the exception being McCain.


Photo Op Terrorism and the Politics of Fearmongering

First came the Liberty City Old School Knuckleheads, then the Fort Dix Six. Now we’ve got the Islamic Reggae Boys, apparently led by a sometimes homeless drug addict.

These guys are terrorists, bent on bringing down America? Please!

The first group were old school militants still living in the sixties with no guns, no cars and no cash. Based on that scenario, they couldn’t land a date these days much less bring down a government. They marched around their warehouse quoting the Last Poets and watching Bruce Lee movies and probably talked a lot of trash that some stupid government informant thought sounded like plotting and turned them in. Now they’ve disappeared into the Just-Us system.

The Fort Dix Six at least look the part, meaning they fit the profile of what a terrorist might look like, if you’re stupid and racist and buy the Homeland Security B.S...you know the type, dark skinned, swarthy, skull cap wearing, bearded, middle eastern looking. But c’mon the feds would have us believe that these men hatched a plot to dress up as pizza deliverymen, go to a full scale military base and shoot up and kill as many soldiers as possible, then escape to tell about it. Further, they recorded their plot on DVD and took it to a drug store for processing?

Now we’ve got the Reggae boys from Trinidad plot. Like the Knuckleheads, these guys had no money, no vehicles and no guns, explosives or nuclear bombs. They talked a lot to a fed informant who was a drug addict working his way into the witness protection program and got turned in to the police, probably after the all ganja was gone. These guys were talking about blowing up JFK airport. The plot announced by one of those political hack attorney generals appointed during Gonzo gate. Airlines security experts from around the world are laughing their collective asses off at this one.

In light of who’s being arrested, I’m scared to death our government couldn’t identify a real terrorist if Osama Bin Laden, himself, walked up to the front door of the White House, pulling his dialysis machine behind him, and said, “I’m here to blow up your country, now arrest me.”

Even the 24 arrested in England last year, were picked up at the behest of our government. The Brits said most of the guys were harmless and in fact, 22 of them were let go a couple of days after the news conference detailing their arrests.

We’re trapped in a cycle of fear. Every time one of these types of arrests is made, there is major news coverage with some government talking head, usually Bush or our invisible vice president, telling us to “be afraid, be very afraid.”

When is the news media in this country going to wake up and realize it’s been had. Not everything is news or news worthy, and most of what is coming from this administration is just noise to camouflage the really bad stuff that they’re doing.

We, as a people, have paid millions and billions of dollars for a state of the art security system to protect our country, while our government is still using tactics dreamed up in the days of civil unrest back in the sixties. No wonder they keep stumbling over these old school militants. The real terrorists are apparently cloaked in 21st century stealth, and don’t register on old school radar.

Yes, we need to be vigilant. Yes, we need security. But not this. With what’s going on, it seems our government uses Keystone Cop movies as training films. If we’re going to go old school, then let’s bring back Coffin Ed and Gravedigger Jones. At least they knew how to find and arrest the real bad guys.


Hostage II

I left the news world back in 1999. I was burned out and quite frankly, didn’t like the turn away from “real news” and toward “infotainment,” which was taking place in the industry. Now, if you miss the first four minutes of the newscast, you’ve essentially missed the newscast. It’s over, except for the recap in the closing 30 seconds. The rest of the time is taken up with features, gossip and weather.

But even though I got out physically, my desire to know has never left. And up until a few months ago I still managed to start my day reading several newspapers (the internet makes it easy). I still read several magazines on both sides of the current issues, in my desire to find all sides of the issues.

I write a blog that most of the time reflects what I’ve read in the newspapers, magazines or heard on CNN or MSNBC. Still can’t stand to watch FOX. It drives me nuts. I ended my career working for the local Fox and a news director who thought that the perfect reporter was one who left the station with prescripted questions written by her or the assignment desk and stuck to script while doing the interview. She actually voiced that opinion in the daily news meeting. I told her point blank that, that would be the day I quit, and it was. She got fired shortly after I quit. It was okay, I needed a change....I needed to write without the constrictions of alleged news gathering, that was no longer happening. But I still carried on my personal search for information...reading and reading and writing and writing, as if I never left the business.

Lately, for the first time in my adult life, I’ve been tuned out of the noise. I mean really tuned out...no newspapers, cancelled my magazine subscriptions, watched less TV news, and I don’t feel all that guilty about unplugging. Haven’t been writing either. I do feel twinges of guilt when I don’t update my blog.

But, hell, I have to remind myself that I created the blog for me. Not for anyone else. I created it to keep in practice with my writing. If I don’t use it, I lose it, understand?

I love to write, it’s just that by creating the blog, I felt an obligation to write every single day, every time I had a thought. That’s good, but there are other things to my life. I play golf. I love to play golf. If I had discovered the game earlier in my life, I might have tried to be a pro. I love being outside, especially this time of year. I have a lawn that needs tending. I have flowers that need love. I have dogs that need exercise. I have me, that needs exercise. I have a car that needs washing. I have a house that needs fixing. I have travel plans to make and trips to take. I need to check out the local flea markets. I have friends and lovers that I need to see. I have wine that needs drinking and food that needs eating.

I have a life outside of my blog and I should never, ever feel guilty about living.

Everything I do and experience comes out in my writing. It will eventually come out in my blog...just not everyday. Maybe not every two or three days. But it will come out, when it’s ready.

So I will get back to politics and the war and having opinions about something. But only when I feel it. In my own time, period.