Monday, September 27, 2004

Bumper Stickers

I love bumper stickers. I actually have one. I used to have two but the "Dragons Freed, Virgins Slain" one finally died. So now I have one that sums up my philosophy in seven words: "Not every problem has an American Solution." It's from a quote by JFK (as in John Kennedy, not the other JFK). Should you desire one of your own, check out Two Unemployed Democrats on the web. They've got lots of nifty bumper stickers and tee shirts. The husband wears their "One Nation Under Surveillence" tee shirt. That always gets him funny looks. Or maybe it's because he usually wears it with his Utilikilt. Hard to tell.

I spied a "Proud to be an Infidel" sticker today. Of course, it was accompanied by a Bush-Cheney one, but I still like it. It has a certain barbarian flavor you don't see nowadays.

This leads me to suggest a few more --- and please allow a little tongue-in-cheek on these.

So many regimes to change, so little time.

Deficit? Just send the bill to my grandkids.

Ignorance is Bliss. Ah, what was the question?

Politicians -- first up against the wall when the revolution comes.

Okay, so I got a life. Now what?

Be sure to vote early and often! The country you save may be your own.


Friday, September 24, 2004

Are You Sure You Want This Mess, John?

You know, if I was Mr. Kerry I'd be wondering if running for president is such a hot idea. Work with me for a minute here -- think what it would be like to walk into your predecessor's office knowing that things were seriously off the rails, but not knowing all the stuff that's been swept under the rug. Your job is to make it right. Why do I hear the Mission Impossible theme at this moment? The minute Kerry is sworn in, the Right will turn on him like a pit bull. We saw that with Clinton. Rush and buddies will foam at the mouth. So Kerry will have no one in his corner as he tries to fix a broken economy, an ill-equipped Army, a poorly managed Homeland Security Department and a quagmire of a war that sucks billions out of our empty coffers. Top that off, most everyone in the world hates us at this point and isn't going to be too keen to jump on the US bandwagon. Gee, that's my dream job if there ever was one.

On some level I wish Kerry won't win because I suspect four years of trying to put out the forest fires will suck the life out of the man. It's only fair this mess blow up on Bush's watch. On a more practical level, I'm not sure if the US (or the world, for that matter) can stand another four years of the guy from Texas. The Pentagon just reported they don't have enough troops to handle any other situations we might find ourselves in. Gee, now that's a surprise. Iran and Korea are making nukes as Mr. Bush assures us that all is kosher, that the world is safer from terrorists and that Iraq is far better off than they were. I don't know what he's smoking, but he'd better share some with the rest of us.

My deepest concern is for the soldiers, followed by the Iraqi citizens. No, they're not all the bad guys. They're mom, pop and kids just trying to stay alive in an environment where bombs kill indiscriminately. How you would feel if you trudged down to your local grocery store and had to worry someone was going to kill you before you bought your ration of bread for the day? Queue for a job in Iraq (especially as a cop) and you get blown up. I can only imagine the sort of hell those people live in -- damned if you do, damned if you don't. You support the crazies, you get dead. You support the Americans, you get dead. That's not the way to build a country. While we've lost over a thousand of our folks, 16,000 Iraqis have been killed. Unreal.

I sometimes wonder what the Supreme Being thinks of all this. Probably sincerely disappointed in His/Her/Their creation. I know I would be.


Monday, September 20, 2004

No Honor

I never was much of a liberal. Not in the past, at least. The last four years have made me a card-carrying member of the ACLU. But that topic is reserved for another post.

This one is about our sitting president and the flap about his National Guard service. Do I worry about the documents CBS uncovered? Not really. Paranoia would dictate that Karl Rove is at work, but I'm going to ignore that issue at present. Where I'm not that particularly happy with John Kerry, I simply feel he's our best alternative. I fear what the next four years will bring under a Bush presidency.

So what led me to that choice? To sum it up, there are only a few issues upon which I judge Mr. Bush.

Reason #1: He jumped the queue to join the National Guard to avoid going to Nam. Because of his political connections, some other poor schmuck got sent over there and probably came home in a body bag. A honorable man would not have used his daddy's influence to jump the queue. That tells me a lot about Dubya. And even after he got into the Guard, he shirked his duty. You can't tell me some other guardie wouldn't have been crucified for pulling Dubya's stunts.

Despite Kerry's criticism of the war once he returned home, he did his duty. Folks have been snarking about his medal-earning 'scratches.' Bullets don't discriminate. One of those could have easily hit his heart or his head. He put himself in the line of fire for whatever reason and didn't stick someone else with the job. That gets my vote.

Reason #2: Dubya's frightingly eerie 'deer in the headlights' maneuver in the first seven minutes after the planes hit the Twin Towers. He was clueless as to what to do. He should have excused himself from the kiddies and started working through the disaster. Instead, it was Richard Clark who was orchestrating things at the White House, not our commander-in-chief. That told me that Dubya is not a leader.

All the rest is icing on the cake; the missing WMD, the curtailing of civil liberties, the invasion of Iraq.

Vote your conscience, people. We still have a democracy. Let's hope it's intact in four more years.

Later --


Monday, September 06, 2004

Another Day, Another Dragon*Con

Another year, another Dragon*Con under my belt. As usual, it was different. Each year seems to possess its own atmosphere. I'd sum up this year as "I'm having fun, but I'm tired, dude." Most people just looked weary, even on Day One.

We took a room at the Hilton downtown instead of one of the main convention hotels to avoid the crowds. That didn't work as tons of people (and their dogs) headed north into Atlanta to avoid Hurricane Frances. We honestly thought there was a dog convention somewhere in town until we asked someone. A number of the escapees were elderly folks and they seemed a bit bewildered. And that was BEFORE Dragon*Con started. The wait for the elevators proved almost as daunting at the Hilton as it would have at the Hyatt or the Marriott (the main con hotels).

I only ended up with one panel assigned (last year I did five) so I crashed one when other panelists didn't show up. Some snafu with the scheduling it appears. Hope they work that out for next year as I really like doing the panels. Got to meet a whole new batch of writer folks and reconnect with lots of friends from all over everywhere. And Mage (aka Harold, the husband) wore his new Utilikilt.

For those of you not familiar with Utilikilts, they are kilts for the average guy. Not plaid like traditional Scottish kilts, but made of denim or poplin or leather. They even have a version for guys who do construction. So these are seriously built kilts. Mage loves his and when topped off with a jacket, he looks great. "Freeing men of trouser tyranny" is their claim and it did the trick. Some go regimental (no underwear for those of you not familiar with the term) and some wear something beneath. Given the fact that women occasionally will hike your kilt just to look (without asking, I might add) you have to decide where to be modest or not. Given the sheer number of kilt-wearing men this year, I'd say the 'have a peak' trend is declining. A few years ago a guy in a kilt was a novelty. Now it's standard issue.

I also came to love sour apple martinis. I've never tasted one of these and so I actually tried one, contrary to my rule about not consuming a bunch of alcohol at Dragon. You can blame the husband -- he bought me the first one. And then Sunday night I decided to have more of them than I should have. Wheeeee! Monday morning I was up and back at the convention, doing just fine. By Monday afternoon, though, I was starting to fray at the edges and packed it in. Husband (who didn't drink a drop) claims to have a hangover. Go figure.

Next year's Dragon is Sept. 2-5. If you've never been to one -- give it a shot. Where else can you see an entire forest full of hobbits/elves and the most remarkable Gollum this side of Hollywood. And the Gene Simmons clones were pretty awesome as well.

Must find Advil...