Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Favor, If you Please

I know that unpleasant things can happen in bathrooms, due to their designated function in life. Very unpleasant.

However, when it comes to public bathrooms, is it too much to ask that you save the more...explosive bowel movements for the comfort and privacy of your own home?

It's not that I'm a prude, or that I question the simple wisdom of "when you gotta go, you gotta go". It's just that I find it difficult to focus on my relatively mild use of the facilities when it sounds like a rip in the space/time continuum is opening IN YOUR ASS and the very hordes of Hell are spewing forth to lay waste to the Earth (and my olfactory sense).

Seriously Dude, are you shitting blood in there? Cause it sounds like your colon just plopped out!

One more thing. Do you really think that now is the best time answer your cellphone? I know it's ringing and all, but I'm sure they'll leave a message if it's important. I mean, you do seem kind of busy right now.

Thanks for your cooperation.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Who's More Stupid?

From MSN, the headline reads: Nicky Hilton Sued Over Hotel Project.

Interesting...Nicky so rarely makes the news these days. I read on:
In a lawsuit filed Monday in federal court, Robert Falor Investments and Grand USA Hotel Supply & Restaurant allege Hilton hasn't kept up her end of an April 2006 agreement in which she promised to promote the redevelopment project known as Nicky O's Chicago, a Nicky Hilton Hotel.
Imagine that, a Hilton sister not following through on her promises. But they seem like such responsible girls. Here's my favorite part:
Hilton also allegedly contracted out interior design work she was supposed to perform and tried to charge it back to the developer, the lawsuit alleges. The development group also claims Hilton misrepresented that she and her associates had experience in hotel design. [emphasis mine]
I've never heard of Robert Falor Investments or USA Hotel Supply and Restaurant. They may be a couple of fly-by-night operators, but I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. They decide to partner with someone in order to open a couple of hip boutique hotels, so who do they pick? Nicky Hilton.

Seemed like a good idea. I mean, it's not like we're talking about Paris. Nicky's the smart one.

So what qualifies Nicky to be a partner in this project? Let's look at her background, as found on Wikipedia:

1. She's 23
2. She's a part-time fashion model
3. She "designs" her own clothing line and handbags
4. She attended both the Fashion Institute of Technology and Parsons School of Design, but failed to graduate from either.
5. She passed on "The Simple Life", which went on to become a big hit. Good call.

To think, Robert Falor Investments and USA Hotel Supply and Restaurant were suprised to learn that Nicky and her associates has misrepresented their hotel design experience. But surely everything in her resume suggested she would be such a pro at it.

So tell me, who's more stupid? Nicky for getting into something she's clearly not qualified for, or some businessmen for picking her to partner with in the first place?

Thursday, February 01, 2007

A Soldier Responds

This is really something. A commenter responding to Andrew Arkin's insulting little diatribe at the Washington Post brings it home with this post. It's long, but defintely worth it.

Mr. Arkin-

I am an officer in the United States Army. I have deployed to Iraq twice, and been wounded once. I have had my soldiers killed and wounded, I have killed and wounded other human beings. I have carried wounded soldiers and civilians in my arms; crying in pain. I myself am permanently physically damaged by my experience.

Through all those events, I never shed a tear. Yet I sit here today crying; reading your original article and your rebuttal to the overwhelming response.

I am proud of what I do, what my soldiers do, the freedoms we defend, and everything we stand for. I proudly defend your right to publish your article, and it actually warms my soul to see free debate and discourse about any topic, because this is the only nation in the world where such completely unbridled discussion and opinion rage on in an organized fashion. That is the United States I am proud of, the one that has given me so much.

I decry and am ashamed of my fellow warriors who have lost their thin veneer of civilization and chosen to engage in the atrocities committed in Iraq. May God have mercy on their souls.
I have chosen to shelve my right to have an opinion on the war in Iraq. I support our effort to help the Iraqi people, depose Saddam, and promote a free(er) Iraq. Are we (or can we) still doing that? I don't know anymore. I have an opinion, but it is too visceral to be truly rational anymore, so I keep it to myself.

Overall, it does not matter. My country, almost unanimously, asked me to refresh the tree with my blood in Iraq/Afghanistan 6 years ago. That was this country, by referendum. As my country comes to terms with what she has done, and possibly chooses a different path, I will soldier on. I will guide and inspire my Soldiers to do the same. But, it saddens me to see so many of my brothers and sisters killed and maimed, only to find out my country either didn't mean it or had no stomach for it.

None of these are the reasons I cry. I cry for the lack of purpose, the apparent lack of caring, the lack of compassion you displayed in your original article and in this subsequent failure to apologize to me, my fellow warriors, and all those who came before me. Here's why.

1. I am not a mercenary. You could make me work two jobs and this would still be one of them, because I am that passionate about defending you and your rights. Many in the National Guard and Reserves do just that. My country needs professional warriors to do her bidding, and he is me, and thousands like me.

2. I have the right to express my opinion within the bounds of the UCMJ, as do my Soldiers. How dare you imply that I do not, or that I should reprimand them? We already accept an abbreviated set of rights willingly. Do not attempt limit my liberties that I have already willingly limited while I defend without complaint the unabridged version you are so rightly entitled to.

3. As an officer, my needs are met. However, in the three months leading up to my first deployment and the entire 13 month adventure, my pay amounted to 173 cents an hour. My friends and I logged our hours as a joke, but $1.73 is the reality. That equates to 19-20 hour days, 7 days a week, for 16 months. That's with the relatively lavish bonuses and benefits we receive while deployed. And I am an officer. Think of our junior enlisted, and find someone else in our great country that is willing to work so hard, day and night, no weekends, under fire, threat of death over their head, for so little? Find me one and I will retract this comment graciously. Of course, even when not deployed, it takes my wife and me quite some time to get through the line at the grocery store. That's because we get in line behind one of my fellow warriors, who with shame in their eyes and faces flush with embarrassment fill out their WIC paperwork because they don't make enough to support their wife and two kids (an average sized family).

4. This response is taking an inordinate amount of time to type, because I have only one functioning hand after being wounded in Iraq. I am trying as quickly as possible to use the medical system your (and my) taxes paid for to recover, so I can go back to Iraq and continue to fight for what you don't believe in, because I believe in you and my Soldiers. Still, I count myself lucky, as I received my Purple Heart next to a 19-year old warrior with both his legs amputated above the knee. No matter how wrong the majority feels the decision was at this juncture, that Soldier gave (I use the word gave deliberately) his legs at his nation's calling. Not for money. Not because he was too stupid to get into college. Not for the great benefits. Just because you asked him to. Please don't imply that this fallen hero is not entitled to the basic medical care he receives.

5. Given the opportunity, I would fight the Germans in 1944. Oh, to have that definition of purpose, that sense of righteousness! But, that is not to be. This is the war that this country has chosen for me, my peers, and my Soldiers. With its vagueness, dirtiness, ambiguity, undefined enemy, amorphous center of gravity, and undefined purpose. The actions of our administration, the decisions higher-echelons of our military, the blunders of the CPA, (I could go on) etc. aside; it comes back to one thing. America chose this fight for me, and I will fight it with all my skill and might until she tells me to stop. The woes and throes of the majority, hawks, doves, liberals, neocons, etc. mean nothing to me or those Soldiers you quoted. What matters to us is that you told us to be there, 3000+ of our brothers and sisters have died there, and we are still there. Change that - in reality, not in the abstract - and we will gladly leave and prepare ourselves for the next challenge and opportunity to defend your freedoms.

I am a Warrior, a Soldier, a Scholar, and a Patriot. This country has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to train and educate me. I am well-versed in our government, our demographics, our history, and our Constitution. Perhaps I am an idealist. To the end of my life or capability I will defend your rights and this country. I am proud that I live in a country where a free-thinker such as you can write an article so critical of current policy. But I am deeply hurt by the insinuations and accusations listed above. I request an apology, on the behalf of all the Armed Forces, for your insensitive and boorish comments. I only wish I could communicate with your entire readership the bitter taste of betrayal that is in my mouth as easily as you communicate your speech and thoughts.

With Respect,

A United States Army Officer
"Army Strong"


The New Face of Terror

Ladies and Gentleman, I give you the new face of terror:

"Mooninites Rule!"

Out of the ten cities in the U.S. where these signs were planted, only Boston saw fit to panic. I find that strange, in as much as your average Bostonian is usually the type who pooh-poohs the color-coded alert levels and swears that a "potential threat" is usually Bush's way of deflecting attention from something else.

In other words, the terror is all in our minds.

UPDATE: From that bastion of rational thought the Daily Kos. See what I mean?
"You are a disgrace to this country. When a plastic bord with lights on it can send a city into a full blown terror alert, I think there is ample evidence that the terrorists are winning. CALM DOWN."
"Whatever they paid for this marketing campaign, it's not nearly enough! I'm going to have to check the show out, myself. Thanks, Boston, for showing us why Security Paranoia is stupid."
"This is what happens when people watch too much Fox News and watch Sean Hannity too much. They start seeing bombs everywhere. Dudes, It was 9/11 in 2001! That was over five years ago! It is time to Calm The F*** Down and not see bombs and terrorists everywhere! Go get a sandwich and take a valium or something! :)"
As much as I hate to admit it, I'm probably in agreement with most of these posters in that no one should be getting in trouble (or getting sued) over this. To be clear - no one did anything illegal, dangerous, or intentionally disruptive. Unlike the Kos Kidz, however, I feel that way mainly because I love ATHF and don't want the show to suffer, not because I believe we shouldn't be mindful of potential security threats.

Are we destined to live through another terrorist attack on U.S soil? Most likely. Will it have anything to do with Adult Swim's line-up? Doubtful.

Happy Anniversary GHS

Wow. Time flies.

It's been one year since I started GHS.

A year ago, we were in the midst of the Danish Cartoon uproar - today, the uproar is over an entirely different cartoon.

A year ago, Al Gore was jetting around the world warning people about global warming (excuse me, climate change). Today...he's still doing that, only now he's been nominated for the Nobel prize because of it.

A year ago, Republicans controlled the Congress. Today, they don't.

A year ago, we didn't know whether Hillary was going to run for President. Okay, maybe we did, but now she's made it official.

A year ago, Jack Bauer was having the fifth worst day of his life. Today, he's living through the sixth, a nuclear bomb has gone off, and Muslims are still complaining about it!

A year ago, 24 was my favorite show on T.V. Today, it has some serious competition.

A year ago, I was a "thirty-something". Today...I'm not.

Wow. Time flies.

Here's to another year of looking at the world, taking it all in...and just shaking my head in amazement.

Oh, and to those eight folks that chose to leave comments...thanks.