Wednesday, March 19, 2008

FIVE YEARS AGO TODAY, WE INVADED IRAQ!

And about two months later, President Bush exited a jet that had landed on an aircraft carrier and said, "Mission accomplished!!!"

Well, heck, we all make mistakes!

That was a big one, wasn't it? The mistake, I mean? And we were told some pretty big lies about why we went there, weren't we? There were NO weapons of mass distruction and Iraq had NOTHING to do with 9/11. Zilch! Nada! But here we are, five years later, almost four thousand Americans killed, tens of thousands of Americans have suffered life altering injuries, billions that will eventually become trillions of American dollars have been spent and the BIG question has NEVER been ANSWERED!!!

Which is, we've DONE all this FOR WHAT?!? Is anybody (in power) EVER gonna answer that question? TRUTHFULLY? Or are we going to have to wait until everyone who was involved is dead? You know, like the Kennedy assassination?

Vice President Dick Cheney was on Good Morning America and after giving his overall (positive) view about Iraq, he admitted it had been more difficult and expensive than we (the administration) thought it would be. The GMA interviewer then asked, "What do you say to the two thirds of Americans who believe that the invasion of Iraq was a mistake and wrong?" Cheney's answer was, "SO?"

In other words, the Vice President of the United States was (in essence) saying, "American people? We don't answer to no stinkin' American people!"

AMERICA'S RACIAL DIVIDE!!!

And if you're asking, "What racial divide?", you're not alone.

It's an uncomfortable topic, isn't it?

Most of us (who are white), live in a vacuum. A self imposed vacuum. We know we aren't racists and we know that our friends aren't racists. Oh, there's Uncle Jonah and yeah, Aunt Elizabeth (we almost forgot about her), but shoot, everybody knows she's "touched" and you can't take her seriously! And Uncle Jonah? Well, he's old and he thinks black folks are a little different, that's all. He comes from a different time.

There's been a lot of talk about one of Barack Obama's preacher friends. Man by the name of Jeremiah Wright. He's now retired, but some tapes featuring excerpts from some of Wright's sermons have surfaced. And in these excerpts, you hear angry words from an angry man. An elderly black American who remembers what it was like to have to sit in the back of the bus which was minor compared to what he went through on a daily basis. Which was the overt and covert treatment he received from a lot of white folks who considered him to be something less than a human being. Why? For the simple reason that his skin is black.

A number of talk show hosts are raising hell about incendiary statements that Reverend Jeremiah Wright has made over the years and they're trying to use those statements (among other things) to make the case that Barack Obama had to know about these statements, quite possibly he agrees with these statements and therefore, Obama isn't qualified to be President of the United States.

And some of these talk show hosts say they're shocked that things like the things Reverend Wright has said are words that are spoken in a church!

Then we get back to that white folks who live in a vacuum thing. The Bush administration is filled with those kinds of people. But so are most white neighborhoods. People like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity have no idea what goes on in some black churches, but in Hannity's case, he says he plans to go to one. Which would be his first one. Limbaugh? No chance. Folks figured out his act a long time ago and he doesn't figure to change. Hannity might change, because he strikes me as a guy who is simply naive when it comes to a lot of things.

Barack Obama gave a speech about the racial divide yesterday. It might end up costing him the nomination, but I thought it was terrific. And if this leads us to honestly examining the racial divide that would involve the hurting of a lot of feelings, his speech will end up being regarded in the history books as one of the greatest speeches in American history.

There is a racial divide, people. I heard the Silver Star awarded Colonel Oliver North tell that to Sean Hannity today. North knows because of the time he spent in the military and simply making it his business to be around all kinds of folks. No Silver Star, but otherwise, I'm the same way.

In the privacy of their homes and (what used to be) privacy of some churches, people do talk and think (in their own ways) the same as thoughts expressed by Reverend Wright. And you don't have to go any further than John McCain's former religious guru, Texas Televangelist John Hagee to find the comparison. As soon as the connection was made public, McCain threw Hagee under the bus. Which is what Obama has pretty much done with Wright and what Hillary Clinton did with Geraldine Ferraro.

An honest to goodness, no holds barred national discussion about the "racial divide" would be wonderful for this country. But then again, so would an honest answer to the "FOR WHAT?!?" question about Iraq.

THOUGHTS OR COMMENTS? Please write to me at scottstjames@sbcglobal.net
I write back to everyone.

ANOTHER BEATLES NIGHT ON AMERICAN IDOL!!!

American Idol producers had so much fun having their final 12 contestants sing Beatles songs last week, that they decided to have the final 11 contestants sing Beatles songs this week. Judge Simon Cowell would end up saying he thought it was a mistake and I agree with him.

Interestingly enough, not one word was said about the McCartney divorce ruling. A ruling that gave the former party girl/model Heather Mills, $48, 700, 000. That's forty eight million, seven hundred thousand dollars or about $34,000 for each day she was married to Paul McCartney. Nice work if you can get it, huh?

Back to last night's singing competition. What you're about to read are short notes I wrote about all of last night's singers, the songs they sang and who I think will probably be eliminated tonight

1: Amanda sang, "Back in the U.S.S.R". Lots of energy, but to me, just a so-so result. The judges pretty much agreed with me, but that didn't stop Amanda from firing back with some remarks of her own which came across (in a good way) as a woman with a lot of confidence. Confidence that's deserved, because I think she's one of the favorites to win the whole thing.

2: Kristy sang, "You've Got to Hide your Love Away". I want Kristy to do well. She seems to be so darn adorable (as well as beautiful), but so far, she's not coming across as that good of a singer. The judges tended to agree with that assessment and Simon, after being whacha call, a little cruel, got a verbal response from Kristy which was, "I can blow you out of your SOCKS and you KNOW it!!" That got a smile out of Simon and a "You GO, girl!" from the rest of us.

3: David (the young David) sang, "The Long and Winding Road". Some of it was good, it was sweet, I'm still not sold on this young man, but it was a big improvement over last week.

4: Michael sang, "A Day in the Life". Some of it was so-so, but the overall feeling was that the performance was awful. A definite candidate to be eliminated tonight. After the judges gave Michael their bad reviews, Vanilla Deluxe Host Ryan Seacrest prodded David into mentioning that David had sung this particular song for a friend who passed away recently. That's something that should have been stated before he sang. I know he's cute Ryan and you probably were trying to help, but c'mon!

5: Brooke sang, "Here Comes the Sun". The judges and I disagreed on this one. I liked the way she decided to sing this song and her on stage personality is/was infectious. But when the judges gave their unfavorable critiques, she spent way too much time making excuses. Yo, Brooke! Unless you have a sharp retort like Amanda and Kristy did, you gotta live by the "Never complain, never explain" philosophy.

6: David (the older David) sang, "Day Tripper". Up to this point, I thought it had been a pretty disappointing show. But to me, what David did, was the best performance of the night! The judges disagreed.

7: Carly sang, "Blackbird". This woman is a favorite to win it all and I liked what she did with "Blackbird". I thought she showed us another side of her range and I thought her expression at the end was terrific. The judges, for the most part, disagreed with me.

8: Jason sang, "Michelle". I thought it was a very sweet rendition, a little weak on stage presence, but an overall nice job with the song. I think the judges pretty much disagreed with me on this performance as well.

9: Syesha sang, "Yesterday". Syesha has a great personality, she's a bonafide "looker", but to me, not a very good singer. Needless to day, the judges disagreed.

10: Chikezie sang, "I've Just Seen a Face". This guy continues to be full of surprises when he's on stage and so far (to me) the surprises have worked. He also played the harmonica and I liked that! Needless to say, the judges disagreed, but I still think that Chikezie will go a long way in this competition.

11: Ramiele sang, "I Should have known Better". It's tempting to try to tie the song title into her performance, but I actually thought she was fun to watch and hear. I forgot to write down what the judges seemed to think.

To me, the main candidates in danger of being eliminated tonight are Michael, Kristy, Syesha and Brooke (because she talked too much to the judges). Michael is the one who should go!

THE NEXT BLOG?

Probably in a week. That seems to be the pattern now. And you know that at least one of the subjects will be about something that makes me say, "Whaaaat?!?

THOUGHTS OR COMMENTS: Please write to me at scottstjames@sbcglobal.net
I write back to everyone.

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