Saddam Hussein… dead… dictator… rape rooms… blah, blah, there’s nothing I’m going to say that isn’t going to be all over 10,000 political blogs in the next 24 hours.
One interesting side note, however — while listening to a conservative talk-radio show last night opining about the possibility of Hussein’s hanging being videotaped and distributed, one caller said he would love to take his kids to a public execution, so they could learn first hand the consequences of crime. The host said something akin to, “Good for you, sir,” and proceeded to belittle the next caller who dared to say that it might be “inappropriate” for children to witness someone being killed.
Now, I do disagree with some of my Libertarian brethren on the subject of capital punishment — and if someone deserved to be put in the ground it was certainly Saddam Hussein — but this viewpoint that pay-per-view hangings would be good for children is bat shit crazy. I don’t even need to tell any of you that kids raised in even a semi-stable family would intuitively know that murder is wrong. Do they really need to be “scared straight”?
Unless, however, Saddam had been put to death by V-Chip/Satan, then perhaps I would plunk down the $19.95 and have everyone gather ’round with a big bowl of popcorn (naughty language alert):
And, by the way, those of you bloggers reporting that “Saddam was hung”? You may wish to read that back aloud and consider a possible edit….
That is, unless you happen to be part of the Loma Linda Homeowners Association.
According to the Associated Press, the Loma Linda Homeowners Association in Pagosa Springs, Colorado is taking a zero tolerance approach when it comes to peace-loving holiday decor this year.
A homeowners association in southwestern Colorado has threatened to fine a resident $25 a day until she removes a Christmas wreath with a peace sign that some say is an anti-Iraq war protest or a symbol of Satan.
No, I am not making this up for good blog fodder. This is actually true.
Hard to believe though? I’d say so.
How anyone could take offense to the peace symbol is beyond me. I mean, I know that homeowners associations have the right to their rules -?‚? no matter how inane those rules may be -?‚? but let’s get real here for a second. This is a holiday garland in the form of a peace symbol. What are people going to take offense to next? Frosty the Snowman decorations?
Now, granted, there were only a few homeowners who complained. But the thought that anyone would complain completely befuddles me. And furthermore, the idea that a homeowner would be fined close to $1000 for?‚? hanging up a?‚? peace sign wreath because it’s “divisive”?‚? is just plain sad.
The article states that some of?‚? those who complained have children serving in Iraq and were offended by the peace symbol because they viewed it as an anti-war protest. Again, this befuddles me. Regardless of our stance on the war or whether or not we have relatives serving in Iraq, who doesn’t want peace? Besides,?‚? if my child were serving in Iraq, wouldn’t that make peace on Earth, and particularly in the Middle East, even more important? (On a side note, the woman facing charges has said that the peace sign was not politically motivated.)
I guess the whole thing is just another reminder to me of why I want to avoid homeowners associations. You may not have to worry about your neighbor painting his house purple, but you might?‚? have to start worrying a lot more about your Christmas decor. Because let’s face it, nothing says Satan like a peace-sign garland, right??‚?
I understand why he said it – he’s trying to promote the virtues of education, making a joke that these kids can relate to.
But is he right? And does he really believe what he said?
At the Pentagon, I knew a young airman who hailed from Southeast DC. If you aren’t familiar with Southeast, it’s arguably the most impoverished of the four quadrants, where the kids have the least hope of escaping the cycle of poverty and crime.
He was an exemplary young man who had escaped that cycle – with the help of the military. I had great respect for him and for the example he set for other young men and women who came from similar backgrounds.
Meanwhile, my own younger brother, who should have had the world by the tail, enlisted in the Marine Corps. He had laughed and joked his way through high school, graduating by the skin of his teeth. He didn’t expect my parents to subsidize him. Instead, he brought them enlistment papers for their signatures.
His IQ and his ambition didn’t match up in the traditional way. He served as a mechanic in the Marine Corps, and his jobs since leaving the military have all been geared toward his mechanical talents.
Neither of these young men wasted their talents or their intelligence by enlisting in the military. Military service is an admirable career path, whether it’s taken for four years or for thirty.
So the answer to the first question is no. John Kerry’s statement is not correct. Education and military service are not an either-or proposition.
But I do have to wonder if he and other civilian leaders – regardless of their political party – look down upon the enlisted troops. Most enlistees do not have a college degree. Some of them never will.
Military leaders, regardless of their rank, almost always hold their troops in high esteem. They recognize the individual contributions made by each and every one, and they realize that their success depends upon the performance of their troops.
Civilian leaders, especially politicians – regardless of party, seem to see people as a means to an end. Sure, they act as if they care. But just like that deadbeat relative who only calls to say hello at the beginning of December, civilian leaders are driven by election timetables.
Sadly, I do think Kerry really feels this way. I think that, deep down, many civilian leaders feel this way. That military service – especially in the enlisted ranks – is a lesser choice than pursuing a college education.
I know many bloggers feel this way. And it’s insulting, whether that’s the intent or not.
It takes all kinds to make a productive society, and everyone’s role is important – from the principal of the high school to the cafeteria worker slinging hash, from the visionary CEO to the entry-level programmer, from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the one-striper passing a wrench to his crew chief.
My father used to say, “The world needs ditch diggers too.” His intent was not to minimize the ditch diggers’ work, but to illustrate the integral nature of all types of work.
Senator Kerry, without that ditch digger, there would be no place to lay the cable that carries your message from the television studio to milions of American homes. Be careful who you disparage in an effort to convey your message.
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