Thursday, August 18, 2005

We don't like instability (unless it's our instability)

Several things concern me today...not necessarily related to one another, although really, aren't we all connected, somehow? Anyway, continuing...

  • So Rummy's doing the imperial tour of South American Countries That Aren't Dangerous And Aren't Called Venezuela, decrying the chaos and supposed authoritarianism in The World's Most Dangerous Country, Venezuela (copyright). That's right, while everything's going hunky-dory in Iraq Pharmacist clears throat loudly Rummy reminds the leaders of Paraguay and Peru that they need to keep a safe distance from those dangerous Venezuelans. Oh, btw, had I mentioned that Venezuela is being run by Hugo Chavez, a leader who won't be controlled by the White House? Yeah...funny thing...forgot to mention that. Dja think Rummy's South American Badmouthing Tour of '05 and Chavez' refusal to play by Monkey Prez' commands, um, decisions, are related???!!?? Oh yeah, and the fact that large amounts of lovely black gold are nestled comfortably under Venezuela's warm, moist earth. Yeah....but I'm sure it's just a huge coincidence. Anyway, just wanted to rain on that parade a little bit.

  • So, hot from its space in the file under Duhhhh comes this gem from the Old Decrepit Grey Lady. It turns out that "the perception that the war was faltering was providing a rallying point for dispirited Democrats". Reaaallllllllly? How exactly does a war falter? Is it that we're killing less? Killing more? Killing the wrong people? Getting killed more? That's a dreadfully vague phrase. And one fine district in NY has a particularly useless representative, Thomas Reynolds, the chairman of the Repub Congress. Campaign Committee who blithely insists that there's plenty of time until elections and that things could be markedly better by November 2006. Or not. Well, that's fine, we'll let this obviously very bright Congressman hew to that position, see how long it lasts.

  • Another great cartoon from Ted Rall-two show-stoppers in a row. Again, at risk of seeming bloodless in laughing at these cartoons, this is dark humor. But if one doesn't laugh, one's going to cry. So anyway, I think Rall is right on with this cartoon.

  • A great column from Bob Herbert in the NY Times. Speaks to the increasing disconnect and immense callousness of the Cheney administration.

  • And finally, please, please, if you like great American songwriters, go out and see Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers on tour. I saw them Sunday night at the Verizon Ampitheater, third time I've seen them and again they didn't disappoint. Tom and his band are entertainers in the most rewarding sense of the word. If one doesn't feel a bit of a bond, a bit of optimism, some inspiration, encouragement, after seeing them, well, I don't know what to say. The band played some of their old chestnuts-opening-against bets going on around me for "Refugee" or "Free Fallin'"-with "She Don't Need You" and also playing "Runnin' Down a Dream" with some fantastic guitar work by Mike Campbell, "Free Fallin'" and "Won't Back Down", along with a rollicking "Refugee" featuring more great guitar work from Campbell and excellent drum work also. They played "Don't Come Around Here No More" and featured a new song, "Melinda" which has a rootsy, country hint to it, and picks up as it goes along. Their encore was "You Wreck Me Baby" which just tore the joint down. Really a great, great show. I should have splurged on decent seats-well, should I guess is irrelevant coz I would have if I could-but anyway, the place was really really packed and seemed even more full for Jackson Browne's opening. Disappointingly Tom didn't have the jumbotron turned on, so those of us well back on the lawn had to strain to see him or perhaps, if we'd thought of it, use binoculars. Anyway, these are minor complaints and Tom is always worth paying to see. And he won't gouge you on ticket prices also. Just a wonderful night, I highly recommend.


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