Thursday, July 01, 2004


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Iraq News of the Day

I mean, really, who is fooled by the "Iraqi handover"? Not the Iraqis. On July 1, just days after "independence", insurgent groups began yet another round of attacks throughout Iraq. Not the American Public, which in the latest round of polling feels more strongly than ever that the U.S. will be quagmired in Iraq for years to come even if we're "not running the country." I'm sure the U.N. doesn't buy it either, which is why it continues to be reluctant to send peacekeeping troops into a mess that we've made.

If the U.S. Army was secure that the handoff was going well and Iraq was well on it's way to nation building, then why the need to call up recently retired troops in what Sen. Joseph Biden (D - Del.) called a "backdoor draft"? (Always one with the colorful colloquialism, that Joe Biden.) Obviously, Iraq is going to keep us busy, as is Afghanistan, and soon maybe the Sudan, not to mention Iran and Syria. When does it end? I don't know too many 19-year olds (not males anyway ;-), but the young men and women I do know don't feel to happy about the prospect of a military draft, especially for a cause that no one seems too sure of in a faraway land where they are actively hostile to us and our intentions. Right now a draft is in the talking stages, but if people like Sen. Chuck Hagel (R - Neb.) feel comfortable floating the idea in public, then plans for an actual draft can't be too far behind. All the better to maintain a neverending state of war which will drain the welfare state dry and make all of our defense contractors and oil companies filthy rich. Stay tuned...

Kerry Runs Off the Latino Vote...Maybe

John Kerry pulled a Gray Davis earlier this week when he stunned a gathering of Latino leaders at the La Raza convention in Phoenix by coming out against letting illegal aliens have driver's licenses. President Bush, of course, has attempted to co-opt the Latino vote by coming out in support of this measure--which former California governor Gray Davis also belatedly supported during the recall election, a move which famously backfired on him in the notoriously immigrant-phobic state. (A state now run by an immigrant, but I digress.)

Now, I may risk sounding like a charter member of the John Birch society here, but I actually think that illegal aliens should NOT be allowed to have driver's licenses, at least not with the privileges that the licenses currently confer. I believe that a compromise position can be crafted which would move this country toward the adoption of a national ID. Only natural born citizens or naturalized immigrants could obtain this citizenship ID which would confer to it all the rights and privileges that this country affords--the right to vote, the right to have your tax dollars pay off big corporations, farmers and politician's hookers, the right to any socialized health care that we may have one day, etc. A driver's license should be just for the state its issued in and it should be just that--a license to operate a motor vehicle, nothing more, nothing less. Who made the driver's license the official legal document that helped determine everything from your right to drink to your ability to apply for a college loan? Republicans would scream about creating another layer of bureaucracy, but with the Department of Homeland Security, who is the greatest manufacturer of worthless government jobs ever? That's right, the GOP, so they can just shut the hell up.

Well, it will never happen anyway, but my point is that Kerry is not a "bad liberal" because he doesn't support this and not letting illegal aliens have driver's licenses shouldn't deny them the opportunity to come into this country and make money for themselves and their families back home, especially since we can't stop it from happening anyway and our economy (especially in California, Arizona and Texas) depends on it ways most people don't even think of. There should be a free and open debate on this topic soon, but the issue is so politicized by both sides, it will almost certainly never get the discussion it deserves.

Happy Birthday, U.S.A.

As this country officially turns 228 this coming weekend (just leaving young adulthood by the standards of the world's great countries, like sort of a modern nation-state Britney Spears), I think it's important to remember that a true patriot questions all the things that they think are done wrong in their country. True patriots don't blindly follow their leaders. A true patriot doesn't believe in just one kind of America or one kind of American. A true patriot wants their country to stand up for values that we share and can all be proud of.

A true patriot votes. A true patriot questions whether the PATRIOT Act is really all that patriotic. A true patriot doesn't let the meaning of the word "patriot" get co-opted by special interest groups, propagandists and the religious right. A true patriot may not think that everything the USA does is right or that this country is perfect, but they recognize the tremendous achievement that is our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution and they know that as imperfect as the USA is, it is probably the best republic that has come to pass so far on this little blue rock.

I'm a patriot...happy birthday America!

Quote of the Week

"The Republicans have a habit of having three bad years and one good one, and the good one always happens to be election year."
--Will Rogers
Dissents and Laments


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