Jesse Collins, and then some.

A blog dedicated to those who would rather be at the cottage.

Archive for the 'Politics' Category

The Last Flight From Da Nang, 1975

Monday, April 21st, 2008

Not sure what’s more compelling: the quality and fearlessness of journalism then, or the desperation of people whose lives and ethics have been ravaged by war. Either way, this video is difficult to watch.

Every day, every moment, every second, we have to ask ourselves what is important and what isn’t, and we have to ask our leaders to prove their judgment and honesty. We have to avoid armed conflict, at almost any cost. It may be true that sometimes there are no choices. It’s also true, that often, choices have been overlooked. My allegiance remains with our veterans, our fallen heroes, and perhaps most importantly, with our young men and women who currently serve. We owe it to them to demand that government remains transparent and open and justifies any foreign policy that places them in harm’s way. We owe them our diligence.

From Wikipedia, there is a footnote to the Vietnam War entry (known in Vietnam as the American War):

General Maxwell Taylor, one of the principal architects of the war, noted “first, we didn’t know ourselves. We thought that we were going into another Korean war, but this was a different country. Secondly, we didn’t know our South Vietnamese allies … And we knew less about North Vietnam. Who was Ho Chi Minh? Nobody really knew. So, until we know the enemy and know our allies and know ourselves, we’d better keep out of this kind of dirty business. It’s very dangerous.”

via kottke

Sinbad Unloads on Hillary Clinton

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

From the Washington Post comes this hilarious exposé of Hillary’s experience in Bosnis, which she describes as being on the edge of the warzone, in constant fear of sniper fire. Sinbad, who along with Sheryl Crow, accompanyed the First Lady claims there was no tension, other than wondering where they were eating next. 

In her Iowa stump speech, Clinton also said, "We used to say in the White House that if a place is too dangerous, too small or too poor, send the First Lady."

Say what? As Sinbad put it: "What kind of president would say, ‘Hey, man, I can’t go ’cause I might get shot so I’m going to send my wife…oh, and take a guitar player and a comedian with you.’"

Sinbad Unloads on Hillary Clinton – The Sleuth

New Clinton Ad Prompts Reply From Obama – New York Times

Friday, February 29th, 2008

The campaign for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States of America has now entered what can be described as the Silly Season. (Those were Obama’s words in one of the debates.)

Hilary Clinton is running fear-mongering ads suggesting that only she is capable of answering the "Red Phone".

As if there are no advisors, no military strategists, no diplomats in the Oval Office when that phone gets answered. Just one, lone, tough Leader. This is the problem: an overemphasis on the dictator and an underempahasis on the democracy. Leadership is about listening, consensus-building, a respect for the enemy as much as a fear of him. 

Put Obama in there. He’s ready. Ready to listen, ready to act—ready to lead. 

This could get interesting.

Saturday, February 9th, 2008

While some people have calculated that it will be up to the super-delegates to decide the Democratic nominee (meaning it will be Hillary Clinton), it’s worth noting a little storm brewing on the horizon. A guy named Peter Paul is making a lot of noise about alleged illegalities during her first Senate run. And it goes to trial (or at least to discovery before trial) February 21st.

It’ll be interesting to see how much media play this gets…

Watch the video – some serious people make a pretty compelling case that Federal laws were broken. Will this make it to mainstream media? I haven’t researched it deeply, so I can’t attest to it’s veracity. You be the judge:

Part 1:

Part II

Is he or isn’t he? Only his ghostwriter know for sure.

Saturday, January 12th, 2008

One of the things I’ve enjoyed the most about this theatre-of-the-absurd American Primary season is following some of the marginal candidates.

Some of you may have even seen the original post I made about how much I liked Ron Paul, updated with a retraction some time ago when I learned about a newsletter published under his name that was filled with racist commentary. Then the mainstream media got wind of that story (Wolf Blitzer on CNN interviewed Paul about it) and it really started to muddy the waters for Paul.

It really is too bad. Not just because it exposes the bad things that can happen when you’re asleep on the watch (Paul claims the articles where published under his name but without his knowledge or endorsement – that’s not just asleep; that’s comatose), but also how some great ideas might get taken off the table. The baby is going out with the bath-water, but this bath-water is really rancid.

One of the things that Paul has brought to national attention is the whole concept of the Federal Reserve. While discussions about banking generally make my eyes glaze over, Paul appeared in a doc that explained the whole concept pretty thoroughly. It’s a question that Americans should be asking (and Canadians, as well, being their largest trading partner): is the Federal Reserve accountable, open, necessary, good, evil–or even understood? Who’s driving this bus?

It was Paul’s comments about the Fed that led me to this documentary, Zeitgeist. I know enough about film-making to understand that it’s surprisingly easy to skew a point-of-view and give it weight and meaning. The presentation of information can truly mislead. Moreover, controversial documentaries can stir the pot, but the sources in Zeitgeist are poorly credited even if some of the message might be sound.

But I’m curious to hear what others think about this position: is the Federal Reserve the enslaver of a free people? Or is that just a left-wing propagandist bogeyman?

And the final clip in this post about Paul’s unswerving Republican beliefs… Here he rips a very smarmy and didactic little prig from Fox News, who seems infatuated with his own voice and drips condescension (“Sir…”) Paul initially takes it in stride, but then ramps his response up to stinging indictment of the other candidates.

When I haven't been fishing, I've been looking at these on the dial-up: