Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Lagniappe: Purple Heart Mockery at the GOP Convention - To all you honorable soldiers who sacrificed blood and limb for this country, the GOP Conventioneers have something to say to you and your Purple Heart(s):Bush For President: War Hero And you think they care about your sacrifice?

Lagniappe: Bush Admits his connection to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth From Andrew Sullivan's blog:

P.S.: I loved Bush's comment yesterday about the smear-ad: "I can understand why Senator Kerry is upset with us. I wasn't so pleased with the ads that were run about me. And my call is get rid of them all, now." "Us"?? I thought Bush had nothing to do with it.
Let's remember that Andrew Sullivan is no friend of Kerry, either; but at least he's honest enough to call it like it is.

Lagniappe: Bush the Dunce - I'm sure GW will recover from the gaffe, but it strikes me as typical of everything the man represents. I mean, really, on the eve of the GOP Convention, in the midst of people praising him as the only man capable of leading this country in the war on terror, GW publicly and with full confidence declares unequivocally and firmly that ... what was it, now? ... oh, yeah ... we will NEVER win the war on terror. Even assuming GW just had a momentary slip of the tongue, and didn't really mean what he said, what kind of person would make such a royal goof up at the most inappropriate time. Worse, what kind of American would vote to elect this incompetent person to another four more years? We need a dunce like GW leading us against the war on terror about as much as we need another cockroach in New Orleans. Puh-lease.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Lagniappe: What is it about Serving in Vietnam on a Swift Boat near the Cambodian Border? - So, in the heat of war and in the complex fluidity of events and recollections that was the Vietnam War, John Kerry's claims to have been in Cambodia at the precise instant he claimed to be may not be accurate. Kerry, though, is convinced of his being in Cambodia during his service. It appears that one John O'Neill is equally as confused about his recollections of his whereabouts while serving in Vietnam. John O'Neill is recorded as saying he was in Cambodia during his service, but which he now claims was not true. Appears O'Neill is lying with impunity. Apparently his recollection some 30 years later is more accurate than his comment made within a couple of years from the actual events in question. What's the truth? Who knows? Fact is, I give O'Neill a pass because his mind was probably as muddled and shaped by the craziness of Vietnam as was John Kerry's. They both probably have some selected or exaggerated memories that stray somewhat from actual events. I would imagine this to be the case for all combat soldiers. The problem is that when Swift Boat Veterans for Truth claim to be representing the "truth" that they themselves contradict makes the group seem like a bunch of vindictive blow-hards. This will do nothing but bite Bush in the rear as the glow of their reghteousness comes under further scrutiny and the discrepancies of "truth" become more and more revealed along with their connections to the Bush Campaign. I want the Swift Boat Vets to come on strong, so that Bush can fall all the harder.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Lagniappe: Kerry and the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" - I've been thinking about this group's activities and wondering a lot about their motives and feelings. I can understand why many of Kerry's fellow combatants wouldn't really care for Kerry and even see him as "unfit" to serve as Commander-in-Chief. It's because Kerry had the courage to break military discipline and defy "loyalty to the insitition at all costs" in protesting and exposing that which was morally reprehensible about what went on in Vietnam. Many of Kerry's swift boat colleagues, like the majority of us, are more comfortable with obeying the "truth" of loyalty, than the "truth" of shame. This simple fact - that Kerry has the courage to question a decision-gone-bad (i.e. the Vietnam War) and to take a stand in protest of it - makes Kerry consummately fit for command. I don't want a leader so blinded by hubris and pride and unfaltering "loyalty" to his "comrades in arms" that he refuses to reasses and admit mistakes and problems. It is very, very possible that going to war in Iraq was morally and politically the WRONG decision for the United States and its citizens (regardless of how much good has come from it for others). But once on the path of war, it becomes very difficult for anyone who put us on this path (and through which much blood has been shed and lives lost) to admit it as a mistake. But sometimes it is necessary to admit our mistakes so that they don't become compounded out of sheer cowardice to do so. Kerry is a man who will fight a just war, and who will not hesitate to put American lives on the line; but he is also a man who will have the courage to admit if and when such a decision was a mistake and to prevent the continued unnecessary loss of life. I WANT this kind of person as a Commander-in-Chief. I don't want a drill sergeant or a "Yes" man. I want a responsible leader. The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth would be wise to reflect on this.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Lagniappe: Blogging from Mexico - From the land of tequila and chilaquiles, I send you all my greetings. Mexico City is wonderful, as usual. I'm having a productive, and fun, visit. Talking to my friends here about their own political situation in Mexico, I am informed that this country's next presidential elections seem wide open and, perhaps, ripe for chaos. It appears that all the main parties and their leadership is fragmented here or caught up in scandals. This means that there is no clear favorites at this point for 2006 elections for President. I see this as the growing pains of true democracy in Mexico, but Mexicans need to stay true and firm to the democratization process. There is a lot of public disillusionment here right now about the political system; and Mexicans are accustomed to not putting much hope into reform efforts. If the country survives the next presidential election with a peaceful transfer of power, then I will begin to believe that the internalization of democratic reform in Mexican political culture is taking shape.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Lagniappe: Gone, Back, and Soon to Go Again - Apologies for the absence of any postings over the past few days. My lovely wife planned a "mini-vacation" on the spur of the moment to a resort hotel in Mobile, Alabama. We were at the Grand Hotel (Marriott) on Mobile Bay and we did nothing but have fun and relax for three days. No television, no radio, no computers, and only the USA Today for news. Needless to say, I've been out of the loop a bit; but it was a great trip ... time well-spent with the wife and kids.

Now that I'm back in town, I have one day to pack for a week-long research/writing trip to Mexico. Off to the biggest city in the world for one week of uninterrupted writing on my book project (a history of Mexico and Mexicans in New Orleans) with the only distractions being an evening tequila or two in the hotel bar. As you might imagine, blogging will be light to non-existent over the next week or so. Then, as the fall semester begins to kick-off at the end of August, what with welcoming a whole new crew of graduate students, I'll probably be unable to blog with much regularity then, too. I'll give it the old Blue Jay/Hoya/Green Wave effort, so do check back; but don't hold your breath for in-depth analysis of anything. Hasta pronto!

PS: Congratulations to my younger sister who just gave birth to her first baby, a daughter, Kayla, 6 lbs, 13 oz. Mom, dad, and baby are all healthy and in excellent spirits,though naturally tired. The extended family grows by one, with the balance tipping in favor of the "fairer sex!"