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Saturday, 29 October 2005
Death Becomes US
Topic: Iraq War
This week has decimated the veneer of calm and confidence the White House has been trying to maintain through the crises of the past few months. Perhaps karma has finally caught up to these villainous creatures. The indictment on “Scooter” only scratches the surface of how corrupt and evil these bastards truly are. Evil isn’t a adjective to be thrown around lightly, but destroying someone’s career to protect your boss, not to mention distorting the facts to lead the country to war; a war to prove an idealistic ideology of neoconservative doctrine, seems at the least morally bankrupt. The death and destruction that has followed this misadventure is so tragic and appalling it makes me want to hang my head in shame as an American.

I wonder where is the outrage to this travesty of judgment and respect for human lives. Sure, the Presidents approval tanking, but the true anger which I feel seems to absent from most of America. People have died for naught. People, not just soldiers and insurgents; but also innocent men, women, and children, have been killed and maimed by the thousands. Up to 100,000 Iraqi civilians have died since the war began. We, as Americans, do not see the true story, the true images of pain and agony on our televisions and in our newspapers. We have censures and standards which shield us from seeing the carnage up close, unedited, and raw. Perhaps we should look into the cold, dead eyes of a bloodied corpse of a child, collateral damage in part of an American mission to take out an insurgent meeting. Or perhaps we should see the coffins of dead soldiers streaming into America on a regular basis to put an image to match the numbers strolling across the scream while we watch two talking heads ague on CNN. Maybe we need to see the true face of war. Look at the gore, blood, and destruction and come to terms with what kind of business we are really in.

Posted by ak5/matthewlnguyen at 10:03 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 29 October 2005 10:04 PM EDT
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Friday, 14 October 2005
The Coming Storm
Topic: Energy Costs
There is an ominous cloud hanging over low and middle class American as winter makes it steady march towards us. That cloud is the high heating costs for natural gas and heating oil, which is going to up to fifty percent higher than last year. It doesn’t help that gasoline prices are still painfully high, forcing many people, me included, to curtail much of our unnecessary driving. A lot of us are in denial about what lies in store for us this winter and are putting off thinking of the punch we’ll have to take just to keep warm. I am not in denial, but there isn’t a whole lot I can do other than stay up at night worrying.
And I do not just worry about my family. No, I also worry for the poor amongst us who will suffer greatly as the temperature drops. This Christmas may not be very extravagant, but we will not have to worry about putting food on the table. Many American will be visiting food banks and soup kitchens for the first time. Children will not be able to have a proper coat for the winter, or they may need to have other utility bills go unpaid. The late fees will add up and push them further down into depravity, which should shame us as Americans.
But the poor do not have guardians as do the rich in America. Our esteemed politicians are talking about more tax cuts for the wealthy, at the same time they are talking about cutting billions of dollars from vital programs that the poor need, such as Medicaid and food stamps. It is getting harder and harder to make it in America and the forces are arrayed to keep the poor at the bottom, stomping them ever further down, so that there can be more incentives to invest and fatten up an already bloated accounts of the wealthy. Greed is destroying us and the price to be paid will be high indeed. These callous and self centered politicians should spend time with their less fortunate constituents to see what happens when they diminish a single parent’s ability to feed her children. They should have to look into their eyes and tell them that they cut their food stamps so that more tax cuts can be granted to the guy across town driving his beemer into his McMansion.
Americans have become so self centered that we can not see the suffering surrounding us. We gripe about the high gas prices, but we fail to think how it affects the delivery man already barely able to support himself. At what point does our individualism become a sin?

Posted by ak5/matthewlnguyen at 9:06 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 12 October 2005
There's No Fun in Fundamentalist
Topic: Harriet Miers
Grand Ayatollah Bush tried to justify Harriet Miers by trumping up her religious credentials to his pouting base today, in a pitiful attempt to gain some lost ground he has lost to his credibility. You better keep the base covered, Georgey, they’re the only ones keeping your approval ratings above the freezing point. Everyone else has caught on to your bullshit agenda that has cost our country so dearly. How sad it is that the best thing mighty Karl Rove can think of to justify Harriet’s ascension into the highest court of the land is her choice of a church. Come on, Karl, I know you can do better than that. Now, if you had to pass a certain intelligence test to get into the pews that would be one thing, but last I checked, most churches will gladly accept anyone through their doors. That is what churches do. I am unimpressed, and I hope the rest of America is too.
What of the separation of church and state? Why do conservative Christians get to push their version of their faith to the rest of us in the country? It’s sad that the President can say that his nominee is a religious person and that is basically code for: she’s against abortion, she against gay rights, she wants prayer in schools, and she doesn’t want valid scientific theories taught in public schools.
And there is no reason for Jimmy Dobson to learn of the president’s choice days before the rest of America. Dobson is a power hungry crack masquerading as a man of God. He should not be privy to secret knowledge, and to hear him brag about it is like listening to a teenager boasting about his first sexual conquest (which proves not be that impressive, anyway). It would be nice to see people have the decency to keep God out of politics, for it is such a dirty game.
I am curious to see where this goes, however. If nothing else, it’s fun watching the republicans fight like democrats over this.

Posted by ak5/matthewlnguyen at 10:03 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 11 October 2005
Upcoming Uncertainty
Topic: My Hearing
This past week I had my hearing tested for the first time in over two years. Unfortunately, I learned that my hearing has gotten slightly worse in that amount of time. This information is not exactly surprising, but I have been dwelling on it quite a bit these last few days. I am reminded of the loss whenever I listen to the radio or put my headphones on to my mp3 to listen to an audio book while running or doing work around the house. The question arises: Will I be able to do these things in ten years? In twenty years? I have decided, perhaps rashly, to not listen to music on my mp3 player while running so that I do not potentially damage my hearing further. This has proven to be both difficult and depressing.
Hearing loss is an isolating and often aggravating experience. At the moment only suffer from mild hearing loss. I can pretty much hear well enough, with my hearing aid, to function normally throughout the day. Of course, it is not smooth sailing at all times. One of the most frustrating aspects is the impatience of others when it comes to my disability. If I need someone to repeat themselves I am often met with thinly veiled annoyance, as if I am intentionally doing this to get under their skin.
But perhaps the most irritating attitude I encounter is the idea that I have brought this on myself through irresponsible behavior. I have been asked if my hearing loss is due to too many concerts or listening to too much loud music. I am not a fan of concerts and can count on one hand the number of times I have attended them. No, I am genetically predisposed to gradually loose my hearing while the music of the world fades away.
These thoughts have kept me up for too many nights this week and I shall try and sleep now and not think of what may lie ahead.

Posted by ak5/matthewlnguyen at 1:10 AM EDT
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