Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Kerry vs. Bush - Double Standard

Today's big news story is about a speech John Kerry made yesterday. First, the details.

This is what Kerry had scripted to say:
“I can’t overstress the importance of a great education. Do you know where you end up if you don’t study, if you aren’t smart, if you’re intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq.”
And this is what Kerry actually said:
You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”
So his intended target was George W. Bush, but not saying those two words does make his statement seem like he was talking to the students about their behavior and actions. A simple mistake easily corrected, right? Not a chance.

This coming a week before mid-term elections, every Republican near a microphone began attacking John Kerry as "insulting and shameful" (George W. Bush), "an insult to every soldier serving in combat" (Sen. John McCain), and "absolutely insulting" (Press Secretary Tony Snow).

Kerry held a press conference today to defend the meaning of his remark, if not the actual delivery. He stated that his remarks were clearly intended as an attack on the President and his administration and their failed policies in Iraq. Personally, I find it hard to believe that anyone truly thinks John Kerry would attack the troops when the President is so easy and obvious a target.

So what do I mean when I write "Kerry vs. Bush - Double Standard"? Let's take a look at a few of George Bush's infamous public statements:
"People don't need to worry about security. This deal wouldn't go forward if we were concerned about the security for the United States of America." --George W. Bush, on the deal to hand over U.S. port security to a company operated by the United Arab Emirates, Washington, D.C., Feb. 23, 2006
"See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda." --George W. Bush, Greece, N.Y., May 24, 2005
"It's in our country's interests to find those who would do harm to us and get them out of harm's way." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., April 28, 2005
"You work three jobs? Uniquely American, isn't it? I mean, that is fantastic that you're doing that." --George W. Bush, to a divorced mother of three, Omaha, Nebraska, Feb. 4, 2005
"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004
"We need an energy bill that encourages consumption." --George W. Bush, Trenton, N.J., Sept. 23, 2002
"Well, as I say, we haven't heard much from him. And I wouldn't necessarily say he's at the center of any command structure. And, again, I don't know where he is. I -- I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him." -- George W. Bush, discussing Osama bin Ladin, Washington, D.C., Mar 13, 2002
"But all in all, it's been a fabulous year for Laura and me." --George W. Bush, summing up his first year in office, Washington, D.C., Dec. 20, 2001
So where was the right-wing machine when President Bush was making these comments? They were completely silent as our own President says:
  • We are not thinking about national security
  • We're promoting sheer propaganda
  • We want to help those who would harm us
  • Working three jobs to make ends meet is a good thing
  • We should work to harm Americans
  • We should consume more resources
  • He's not concerned about the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks
  • 2001 was a fabulous year
Now let's be real. I do not believe that the President meant any of these things. He is not exactly a polished public speaker, and these statements did not reflect the actual message he was trying to convey. In fact, oft times they stated the exact opposite.

So why are we now attempting to crucify John Kerry for his statement, when we know from the context of his speech - and his later clarification - that the words were directed at this President and this administration?

Halloween - Ric and John at work

Of course, we decided to dress up today for Halloween. And since we have a reputation as "more than a bit over the top," we knew we had to wear something that demanded attention.

So here we are!

Monday, October 30, 2006

This is Democracy? (More details)

There is a great summary of voting machine issues - The Landes Report.

And now my own analysis? The sheer volume of voters, candidates and elections makes a line-by-line discussion impossible, but there are those who have made such an effort. Click here for more details. I do remember reading about a small precinct in Ohio that delivered more votes to Bush than there were eligible voters. How about 3,893 extra Bush votes in a precinct with only 638 total voters? More details - along with a suggested cause - are available here.

So I cannot speak to every contest. I can give specific examples of things that concern me, though. I am concerned that the official overseeing the close results in Ohio in 2004 was the Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, who prior to the election had promised to "... deliver Ohio to the Republicans." And this is the same person who championed the Diebold machines for the state, while arranging $10k per plate Republican fundraisers at the home of... you got it... the CEO of Diebeld. Cirumstantial? Yes. Coincidence? Perhaps. Concerning? Definitely.

On November 2nd, HBO will premiere their new documentary Hacking Democracy. I'm sure I will have more to say after I watch it.

This is Democracy?

"It's not the people who vote that count; it's the people who count the votes."
(Attributed to Joseph Stalin, but not a confirmed quote.)

The story:
Electronic voting machine votes for Democrats are registering for Republicans.

The excerpt:
Debra A. Reed voted with her boss on Wednesday... near Fort Lauderdale. Her vote went smoothly, but boss Gary Rudolf called her over to look at what was happening on his machine. He touched the screen for gubernatorial candidate Jim Davis, a Democrat, but the review screen repeatedly registered the Republican, Charlie Crist.
The complete article - Click Here.

Draw your own conclusions, folks.

When the war in Iraq comes home

This article appeared originally in the Washington Post and now online at MSNBC.com. Not much I can add here, except to say it is worth reading in its entirety.

When the war in Iraq comes home (click on headline for complete article)
Marines who expected duty so light that boredom seemed probable instead saw almost daily combat and 23 men killed in action, more casualties than any U.S. company in Iraq. When it was over, they traded an edgy, exhausting regimen of forced alertness and sudden brutality for sheer ordinariness. Nothing at home felt as urgent or as meaningful, as thrilling or as awful.
I am constantly impressed by and continually in awe of the bravery of our United States Marines.

Semper Fi.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

What? I wasn't listening.

Funny story from last night. Ric, AJ and I were standing close to each other, and Ric was talking and trying to be heard over the music. At one point, I realized I had completely stopped listening to him. I noticed Ric was talking directly to me, asking me I had heard what he said.

"I wasn't listening, sorry," I said. "I was looking at myself and got distracted."

And it's true. I was feeling pretty good, proud of myself for running the 5k earlier and really happy about wearing my skinny low-rise jeans, and I was looking at myself in the mirror and I just tuned everyone else out. How shallow is that?

At least AJ got a good laugh out of it. Ric? Not so sure. I think he is a bit worried that he is creating a monster.

Urban Mo's - Cowboy Night

Our friend AJ is back from a month in Yuma, and that means we were out on the town last night. We decided to head to Urban Mo's/Kicker's for a night of country music and dancing. And since it was the Saturday before Halloween, we put on our best country outfits. Some people thought we were dressed like the boys from Bonanza, and others just assumed we were wearing our regular Saturday night at Kicker's outfits.

We had such a great time, and we ended up closing the place. All of us danced... even AJ, who was a bit unsure about country music in the beginning.

First, we had a little "courage in a glass" to get our nerve up.

Then, Ric and AJ practiced a bit in the corner before hitting the dance floor.

After the warm-up, we were all ready to hit the dance floor. Here's AJ learning to line dance.

And Ric and AJ doing their best Two Step.

And my favorite... Shadow Dancing!

And of course, we had to make time to pose and look sexy for the camera.

And let's not forget AJ's new girlfriend, just in time for Halloween.

It was such a great night. I forgot how much fun it is to go out and dance. We'll be back soon!

Get Fit 5k - Liberty Station

Saturday was the Get Fit 5k, a run through the newly renovated Liberty Station. It used to be Naval Training Center San Diego, but is now a mixed use facility - retail, commercial and residential.

The run was sponsored by Channel 10 News, and I ran with their team. Thank you to my friend, John Williamson, for getting me signed up and making sure I was able to run as part of the team. I even met Carol LeBeau, 10 News anchor. She was really cool, very friendly and nice to everyone that wanted to meet her, and she is in incredible shape. That woman can run!

And now the results. I ran with my Garmin GPS, and the race was long. I measured it at 3.23 miles, instead of 3.1 miles. And my record-setting times? 26:29 for the total run, and 25:42 at the actual 5k mark. And I finished in the top 200 of over 3000 runners. I'm feeling pretty darn good about myself right now!

Here I am running in the event. That's Carol LeBeau just behind me.
And this is the Channel 10 News Team... plus me!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Saturday, 4:30am

After ninety minutes of reading all things political, social, and pseudo-sexual, I think I am finally ready to go back to sleep. I can still get a few hours of sleep before the run.

Saturday, 3:00am

It's the middle of the night (morning?), and I am wide awake. I fell asleep last night somewhere around 9:30, so I am not surprised that I woke up early. But 3:00am? Sheesh.

Wide awake, middle of the night, what's a guy to do? Search the web for "3:00am" and see what I find.

Photos from Iceland, Philadelphia, and some climbers at the Grand Tetons. Supposedly, all these photos were taken at 3:00am. I would go outside and take one myself of 34th and El Cajon at 3:00am, but we already know what hookers look like, right? Why startle them with a flash?

My friend will be here in less than six hours to pick me up and take me to Liberty Station for the 10 News Get Fit 5k. You would think I would be back in bed, getting much needed sleep. But no, I am websurfing.

That's it. No more glasses of Diet Black Cherry Vanilla Coke before bed.

Friday, October 27, 2006

And more of us on the Mud Run

Me and Joe, over the wall and through the mud pit.

And Austin, making his way through the pit.

And here's Joe making his way through the final mud crawl.

And Robby, making his way through it.

And me, splashing around like a madman!

Austin, at the finish line.

And here we are, crossing the finish line with Joe.

More Fun on the Mud Run

I don't know that I have ever been at a better place for people watching!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Fun on the Mud Run

Ever wonder why people get up early on a Saturday morning just to run for miles? Sure, I could say it's for strictly for the health benefits, but I would be lying. As a gay man, one of the perks of entering competitive events is getting to watch some of the other competitors. And sometimes, those competitors make watching them totally worth it!

Like these gentlemen, having fun on the Mud Run at Camp Pendleton. Give a couple of guys a big mud bog, and they're going to have to wrestle in it. It's just the way guys are.

So I'm a shallow person sometimes who likes to see sexy men splashing around in the mud together. I am who I am... and damn proud of it!