Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Name Change

In an attempt to confuse people even more, the White House has decided not to call it's current conflict the "War on Terror."

I don't see how this helps the troops, or anyone for that matter. Others agree. But like poverty, drugs and crime, I hope we've learned that terror isn't something we can just declare war on and expect to be dealt with overnight.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

All Together Now!

Apparently it's easier to lump all terrorist-attacks that are "al Qaeda-esque" as al Qaeda than to admit that in some cases the attacks were done by affiliates, wannabes, or surrogates. I think it's dangerous to practice this; we should acknowledge that terrorism is not an ideology but practice preformed by people of varying ideologies.

Al Qaeda is a terrorist group, but not all terrorists are Al Qaeda. It's important to remember this.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

The Naked Truth

You know, it's funny how all these wierd things STAY happenin' in Florida. What's up with that, yall? But anyway on with the news.....

In New Smyrna Beach, Florida a naked serial tickler (?) is on the loose! This man apparently breaks into people's houses at night, goes into a potential victims' room and tries to tickle their feet! He doesn't even take anything, just tickles peoples' feet.

Investigators have been working similar cases since 2001. The majority of the victims have been in their 60's.

Huh? (Version 2.0)

And now for another "what the hell?!" posting from me. A 24-year-old reading teacher in Tampa, Florida named Debra Lafave will attempt to claim insanity because of emotional stress and that she didn't know right from wrong (!) in a trial in which she's accused of having sex with a 14-year-old male student several times. Times is wild aren't they?

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Two Left Feet

Everyday it is getting harder for Karl Rove and his supporters to dance around the issue of whether or not he broke the law by allowing reporters to connect Valerie Plame, CIA agent with Joe Wilson, former Ambassador and critic of the Iraq War.

One such dancer, Ken Mehlman, may need to take some tango lessons. How can you in praise the man who may be prosecuting one of your teammates, yet be be unwilling to continue doing so if the prosecution leads to a decision that may not be in your favor?

From today's edition of NBC NEWS' MEET THE PRESS:

MR. RUSSERT: You say you have tremendous confidence in Pat
Fitzgerald.

MR. MEHLMAN: I do.

MR. RUSSERT: If, in fact, he
indicts White House officials, will you accept that indictment and not fight it?

MR. MEHLMAN: First of all, I'm the chairman of the Republican National Committee. I'm not an attorney for anybody. The fact is I look forward to his getting to the bottom of this. I can't speak for...

MR. RUSSERT: But if he indicts White House officials...

MR. MEHLMAN: Right.

MR. RUSSERT: ...will you pledge today,
because you have tremendous confidence in him, that you will not criticize his decision?

MR. MEHLMAN: Again, I'm not going to speculate. I have tremendous confidence in him. I look to getting to the bottom of this. Whatever he does, I can assure you, people are going to follow and are going to look to abide by.

MR. PODESTA: Just say "yes," Ken.

MR. MEHLMAN: But I think it would be inappropriate for me as the RNC chairman to say what legal strategy people may take in the future.

MR. RUSSERT: But if you have
tremendous confidence in him, then you will respect and accept his decision.

MR. MEHLMAN: I look forward to hearing what he has to say, and I intend to respect what he has to say, but, again, I'm not going to speculate on what he might do.


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Friday, July 15, 2005

"You Learn Something New Everyday"

I know I did. Based on yesterday's press gaggle:

The President had enough time to vist the Black Corporate Expo, but not the NAACP (one of the longest-standing minority-rights group in the nation). Also, he's not sure if he's going to accept their year-in-advance invitation to the next event.

The President wants to explain the importance of "fixing" Social Security, despite the fact few believe he's an expert in that field.

The White House won't talk about what the RNC said about Karl Rove "through the media," but will talk about announcements the Supreme Court Justice put out "through the media," even though nobody directly told them about the later.

The President wants to disagree with Nixon's Southern Strategy if it means more black votes, but not publicly if it'll cost him votes in the South.

And the lesson continues...

Game Over?

Two Democratic Senators take on the video game industry by attacking it's most extreme example.

If only they had bothered to look at the policies of some of the video game companies, as opposed to the numerous video games, they might've had an idea of what's going on...

Thursday, July 14, 2005

No Surprise Here

Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who's upset about his wife's identity as a CIA operative being exposed, ask Karl Rove to reconsider his current employment.

And polls seems to agree.

It's a shame we're not hearing the same rhetoric as before Rove was named the leak.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Tell Me No (more) Lies

It's been exposed that odds are Karl Rove was the "leak" in the Valerie Plame affair. According to reports the White House official subtlety revealed the identity and occupation of Joe Wilson's wife in order to get Wilson to back off his attacks on the White House when they were making their case for attacking Iraq.

Earlier the White House had nothing to say about the matter, even though before they couldn't stop talking when it wasn't sure that Rove was a suspect. It's sure to put a strain on President Bush's "loyalty to my friends" policy.

The damage done to Plame's career is far-reaching, but those supporting Rove haven't stopped there. They are currently peddling some talking points to be used in political and media outlets.

But if one reads them carefully, you get two conflicting arguments:

1. Plame was a CIA desk jockey, so her "outing" is not important.
2. Plame used her influence to get her husband on the fact finding mission for yellow cake.

Of course, if her position is so low, I can't see how she'd have any influence on who goes to find out what. On the flipside, if she does have such pull, she is certainly no mere paper-pusher.

Add to that the fact that because every employee from secretaries to accountants work under such secretive conditions the CIA doesn't even give tours, it says here that the "talking points" are bunk.

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Huh?

And now, from the "are you kidding me?" files, a Stamford, Connecticut bank robber is lobbying for less jail time, citing trauma and stress from the Sept.11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. This by the way, is the 2nd time he has tried to use this agrument.

Jason Battista makes these claims just as he's about to be sentenced to seven months in jail for bank robberies in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. Just last year, a woman, Pamela Kaichen won a reduced sentence (from 7 years to 4) citing the same thing. She was who was called "The Blond Bandit" because she wore blond wigs during her 2-day robbing spree.

Of course you'll have people trying to explain away this brand of stupidity, and here it is: "He was unable to function properly because of what he saw," Battista's attorney Stephen Seeger said. "The drug use seemed to spiral out of control after 9-11. He wasn't the same individual."

Now for a couple of counterpoints: "Certainly people were traumatized by Sept. 11," said Kevin O'Connor, U.S. Attorney of Connecticut. "We need, however, to be very wary of allowing that to become a routine basis for justifying criminal conduct." Terri Weaver, associate professor of clinical psychology at St. Louis University had this to say: "Criminal activity is not a symptom of post traumatic stress."

To be sure, Defendants have for a very long time attempted to use traumatic events, and time periods, usually their childhood, to explain why they do the things they do and to get leniency granted to them. This has got to be the stupidest, most hare-brained thing I've heard in quite some time. Is it stupid or stupid like a fox? My point is is I went out here today as a black man and killed a few cops because black people have been harassed by them as we have in this country, would I get that leniency? What do you think? Let me know......

Monday, July 11, 2005

Fantastic 4 the Laughs

Some disclosure before I give my latest review: I've never been much of a F4 fan. Why? The crappy villains. Like Hulk, Wonder Woman, Superman and others, the Fantastic Four only had two, maybe three worthwhile adversaries. Compare that to the rogue's gallery that Batman, Spider-man or the X-Men have to face on a regular. So while I loved the heroes, the comics themselves never really appealed to me.

That being said, I give Fantastic Four the Movie an 8/10.

As an Origin Movie: 8/10; it used enough time to explain how the characters got their powers and began their transformation into heroes.

As a Summer Movie: 9/10; good laughs, cool heroes, nasty villain. Not to mention that it's picked up some of the slack.

As a Marvel Movie: 7/10; I think the X-Men and Spider-man sequels were better.

As some may know, Marvel's been trying to incorporate genres and themes into their adaptations. The X-Men movie is a sci-fi with the theme of diversity and acceptance. Spider-man is an action/romance flick about responsibility (and duality). The Punisher was in action drama dealing with revenge.

Fantastic Four is a comedy about family and teamwork. You won't notice it at first; because it's real subtle and most people are so used to the anvils that X-Men and Spider-man dropped they don't feel the formulaic tickle this movie has.

So what are the Pros and Cons?

Well what's good is that they only have to focus on five main characters. This allows you to see the relationship they share with each other. Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic) is a down-on-his luck egghead (think Egon Spengler with a classier look and more optimism). Victor Von Doom (Dr. Doom) is his old college rival who's a more successful businessman but lacks in the humanitarian department. Susan Storm (Invisible Girl) is Reed's ex-girlfriend and Victor's current employee (both of course he sees it as more). Ben Grimm (The Thing) is Reed's muscle and best friend through thick and thin. And Johnny Storm (The Human Torch) is Sue's little brother and a pilot who was under Ben's command back in the day. The interactions are believable for a movie, and evolve as events send all five on a collision course of...um, cosmic proportions.

The fighting is what can be expected for a comic movie about super heroes that don't do that much fighting: adequate. You'll see stretching, fire tricks, super-lifting and moments of invisibility where necessary. Except for Johnny, these guys were never really known for flaunting their powers.

The lesson of family and teamwork is realized when Doom figures out that the best way to get his revenge and make himself a real power-player is to divide and conquer the F4. And naturally, that's when you get the best fight scenes (I'll count Fantastic infighting just this once).

The cast do their best to make this as entertaining as possible. Ioan Gruffudd's Reed is the quintessential academic who's more into variables than emotions. Jessica Alba's Sue is better suited as a matriarch than a scientist. Michael Chiklis is the best of the bunch as the tortured Ben. Chris Evans gives me hope that when future casting of "young, wild and arrogant" characters is called, people won't just think of Chris O'Donnell. And Julian McMahon slips into the role of Big Bad Dr. Doom easily, considering he past experiences.

If you don't want to see a super-hero flick with a comedic slant (and some of the jokes are kind of lame). Don't bother. If you like laughs with your action, check it out.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Rest In Peace (Version 3.0)

Finally.

After all of his posturing, Florida Gov. Bush has decided to stop the inquiry on whether Michael Schiavo did all he could to save the life of his wife Terri.

And a perfect time for him to back away. Everyone's focusing on London, Supreme Court Justices and terrorism. Let's hope he's learned his lesson.

366 Days?

In case you haven't heard, Lil Kim just got sentenced to 366 days (a year and a day to you and me) in prison for lying to a grand jury about a incidental shooting of outside of WQHT radio station (Hot 97) in Manhattan involving the Queen Bee herself, people affiliated with her, and Capone-N-Norega. The confrontation actually stems from a song that Kim's enemy Foxy Brown recorded with Capone-N-Norega entitled "Bang Bang" in which Foxy took verbal shots at Kim. The judge said that though Kim and Martha Stewart commited the same crime, Kim's going away for a longer time because she lied about a VIOLENT crime while Stewart lied about a WHITE COLLAR one. Well the good thing is Lil Kim doesn't have to report to prison until Sept. 19th. I can see the year, but why add a DAY on to that? What's up with that? Sometimes, maybe it DOES pays to be a snitch.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Deal With It

The U.S. is fighting the war on terrorism in Iraq, and the White House is pessimistic about the leadership in Iran. So should the U.S. be concerned with the deal these two countries have made?

One one hand, it does get those troops trained. On the other: what will their training consist of?

180 Degrees

To go from celebrating your hosting of the 2012 Summer Olympics to being the lastest victim of a major terrorist attack must be the most emotional of emotional turnarounds. Thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the victims.

But it also provides a chilling truth: fighting a battle/war over in one country will not necessarily prevent it (or anything relating to it) from arriving on your doorstep.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Talking With the Danish

While the President is overseas, he took the time to be interviewed by the DBC. Some interesting quotes came about:


[snip]
Q Let me change subjects completely if I may. The cultural war, as it often described here in America, is something that we in Denmark look upon with some interest and some also maybe lack of understanding -- gay marriage, abortion, and so forth.

THE PRESIDENT: Sure.

Q Why have these subjects become such a focus in America today?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think abortion -- I know abortion has been a focus for quite a period of time. And there is a genuine philosophical debate, a debate amongst good people -- good, decent, honorable, patriotic Americans who have a difference of opinion. I happen to be one who believes that we ought to guard life; life is precious in all forms, all stages. And that then leads into political debates, that philosophy, that belief leads into political debates on issues like whether or not a parent should be notified prior to a daughter's abortion, for example. That's how it has manifested -- different laws, for example. Occasionally -- somebody proposed a law, for example, if you murder a pregnant woman, should the person be charged with murder once or twice? I happen to believe the person ought to be charged twice, first the mother and second the -- the child. And that, of course, sparks debate. And that's why you're seeing debates on this issue.
Gay marriage is another issue --

Q Can I just, if I may, your personal -- do you think abortion should be illegal?

THE PRESIDENT: No, I've always believed that there -- we ought to -- abortion ought to be illegal with the exception of rape, incest, or life of the mother. But, look, I'm a realist, as well. I mean, this is an issue that has polarized the American political society. And in order to get good policy in place that protects the life of a child, we're going to have to change hearts. And it's -- so I've been promoting what I call a culture of life, at every aspect of the debate remind people that life is precious. And -- but I can see why people take an interest in the debates here. It's -- it's -- I happen to believe a society based upon respect for life is an important society -- is a whole society, I guess is a better way to put it.

I see this as contrary to what many of the President's conservative supporters believe; many in that camp want abortion of any form outlawed. The President's desire to "guard life" is also dubious; a child (no matter how they were conceived) is a life but apparently not in his eyes if the father was a relative or rapist, or if the child's birth means the death of the mother.

Well, shouldn't we try to enforce the laws against incest and rape? And while we're at it, safe sex? Aren't a majority of unwanted pregnancies due to lack of education on the subject? And how soon can it be determined that childbirth can kill the mother? Doesn't that depend on her health? What if it's not determined until after 7 months or so? What then?

All the more reason to let the mother decide.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

It's Half Full Too, Y'Know

Tired of all the bad talk about Iraq? Well, Good news! Fox News recently received a detailed tally of all the good things the US has done since sending troops over there.

Never mind who the source is (these guys found out). But I believe the President had a better list than that.

The Education of Bruce Wayne

I usually like to watch a hyped-up movie after the hype has died down, and I did such with "Batman Begins." Here's how I rank it:

As an Origin Movie: 9.5/10; among the best.

As a Summer Movie: 7.5/10; I think ROTS was more "rewatchable", WOTW is more "blockbusterish" and F4 will have better effects.

As a Batman Movie: 8/10; way superior to "Batman & Robin," not as funny as "Batman Forever," better flow then "Batman Returns," and not as poetic as "Batman."

Overall, I'd give it an 8/10. Here's why:

One, the fighting: The ninja training is cool, but the fight scenes move too quickly for me to believe that it's really Christian Bale in the Batsuit kicking butt. You see flashes of arm swipes, hand chops and leg-extended kicks but not much in the way of shots of one full-body fighting another.

Two, the characterization: Bale seems more comfortable as Bruce Wayne then as Batman. I've always had the impression that Bruce Wayne is the real disguise, and Batman the actual person. But this movie kind of says Bruce gave his real self up to be two people: a rich, spoiled playboy and a nightly avenger.

Three, life lessons: Apparently, everybody teaches Bruce something. This includes how to fight (Ra's/Ducard), how to run a business (Fox), how criminals conduct themselves (Falcone), how the legal system is supposed to work (Dawes), family and loyalty (Alfred), getting the gear (Ducard, Alfred & Fox), overcoming phobias (Thomas Wayne, Alfred, and Dr. Crane) and chemistry (Scarecrow?). Unfortunately, I don't see much of the "Detective Batman" I've come to know and love. This version just doesn't strike me as a Batman who routinely outsmarts people on his own (he needed an awful lot of help). Detectives are naturally inquisitive people; Bruce seems more interested in fighting criminals than solving crimes, which makes the claims of "ending the corruption" kind of hollow. Oh well, he's young.

Four, the villains: Anyone who didn't know Ducard's true role should be ashamed. Targeting Gotham for destruction as opposed to say, Las Vegas or Los Angeles is a thin motive to say the least (other than murder and drug trafficking, what made Gotham so evil?) Falcone, for all his propping up in the movie, turn out to be a "transitional bad guy" which was a shame. And one of Batman's most deadly villains got stopped by an assistant D.A. with a taser. 'Nuff said.

Last but not least, the cast: In reality, this had more known names than either of the last two Batmen (both of which were ripped to shreds for among other things, having two many star actors). Morgan Freeman plays Fox with quiet respect. Liam Neeson makes Ducard's transition from teacher to mentor to protagonist very believable. Gary Oldman's Sgt. Jim Gordan always seemed to be one drink from ending up in Arkam until the end. Tom Wilkinson's Falcone was straight gansta. Rutger Hauer's Earle could have given Max Shreck a run for his money. Katie Holmes' Rachel Dawes ranks #3 as the "girl in Batman's life" right after Catwoman and Vicki Vale and before Dr. Chase Meridian and Julie Madison (yes I had to look her name up). Cillian Murphy's Dr. Jonathan Crane is very "he seemed like such a quite and nice guy" type.

Recommendation: Watch it if you want to see a different interpretation of the Dark Knight.

Remember What Happened Last Time...

While the White House believes that the new Iranian president may have been involved in that American hostage incident in Tehran, they want to check the facts before making any rash decision.

Sounds like a good idea: weight your options, gather information, formulate a sound conclusion. Wonder what took so long.

Jinkies! A Clue!

For those of you who can't resist speculating, there are some hints as to who the President may choose for the Supreme Court.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

The Nudies are coming! The Nudies are Coming!

Elizabeth Book, a woman who recently won the right to bare her breasts in puplic in public, plans a topless protest at an auditorium in Daytona Beach, Florida beside thre statues of women who are also topless. "I will be as top-free as the statues," Book said Monday in an e-mail to the nudists and naturists who have supported her cause. "This is not over until Daytona is forced to recognize the unconstitutionality of their ordinances and statutes aimed at the American woman's breasts."

Daytona Beach says Book's victory in court last week was only temporary and probably will be appealed.

"She should probably save her exuberance for a time when all the appeals have ended," Assistant City Attorney said Greg McDole, an assistant city attorney. "There are a number of appeals left and a number of years before this is a binding precedent."

Volusia County Judge David Beck ruled that Book was within her rights when she bared her breasts as part of a political protest during Bike Week in March 2004.

The city's anti-nudity ordinance allows an exemption for nudity that is part of a political protest or other constitutionally protected issue, Beck said, throwing out her arrest and fine for $253. The city passed the rule in 2002 to curb indecency at special events.

I don't know about you, but I think I'd like to see this protest go down! However, if things change there and the nudist take over down there, how long before everywhere else falls?

You're Not OUR Kind of Victim.....

Is it just me or does the media selectively portray certain races of people as villians, victims, and heroes? For example, black men are generally portayed in the news and other media as villians who do nothing more but cause (and look for)trouble. However on the flip side, white women (particularly attractive ones), are seen as naive, trusting victims. When Jennefier Wilbanks went AWOL days before she was scheduled to get married, she was seen as a victim, but with her poppy eyes like a deer caught in the headlights, she hardly defines attractive for me, but anyway. Her man was initially blamed for her disapperance, but when she was found out to be the perpetrator, nobody really even got mad. And when little Rilya Wilson had been noticed missing, you almost NEVER, EVER hear about HER. Oh, I almost forgot. What about the current AIDS and starvation crises in Africa? Some say when you see it on tv so much, you get desensitized and I guess it's true but I also imagine people are more sympathic to the "troubles" of whites while the plights of blacks and other non-whites go largely ignored. But I digress......

Friday, July 01, 2005

Way to go, Bushie!

Well, well well! Another few days has gone by under the Dubya administration and apparently, they (Bush especially) are allergic to doing good for ALL the people not just 1% of the population. Got gripes? Cuz I do. For starters, we're coming up on 4 years since 9/11 and the "bad guys", "Enemies of freedom" or whatever Bush calls them (Osama Bin Laden and his followers) are STILL out there, and just as far away from being caught as they ever were. They're probably thumbing their noses at us from some damn hidey-hole talking about how they're great for standing up to the military super power of the world. Bush just basically said "F**k it. Let's see if we can't connect this to Saddam somehow so we can bomb him instead". Then troops caught him in a tiny hole in the ground, but they can't find Osama? The guy who takes great pleasure in saying "yes I did it"? Come on! Does anybody but me see that blaming Saddam for all this was probably just Bush's means to an end? By the by, gas prices are higher than ever as well. For those of you who voted for Bush this time around, how's that working out for ya?

Yes. I Know. And...?

So Justice O'Connor has announced her retirement. Time for the speculations of the next Supreme Court Justice to begin, right? Wrong. And BTW, "yawn."

It's not that I don't care who could becomes the next Justice, it's just that such speculation at this point is as useful as the countless mock drafts people view and use for pro sports.

And in both cases, only the people making the final decision know what's going to happen. They make the pick. Fans/voters make their comments. And the games go on.

The question is not "who is it going to be?" as much as "should we support the person picked, or should we fight back?"

So instead of checking the bios and voting records of 20 possibilities, forgive me for waiting until the White House narrows the names down to their personal Top 3 or 5.

The Blame Game

Despite the President's declaration that we will win the War on Terror, recruitment has been down, and it's lagging as we speak. But that doesn't stop some Congressional Super-Sleuths from determining the reason: namely Democrats and the media.

I for one can't see why your average person would trust the words of a Senator or Congressman or news writer/reporter over the President of the United States. Unless, of course, the President has done something to raise doubts in the mind of said average person.

Or maybe if members of the White House were making contradictory statements about the things going on in Iraq. I mean, trust is a fragile thing.

Scotty Doesn't Know

Much like the kid from one of my favorite newer movies, Scott McClellan just doesn't seem to understand what's really going on.

For example, this gem from Thursday's Press Briefing:

Q Can I follow on that? Part of what Senator Rockefeller said was that by using the references to 9/11, that the President was trying to click a patriotic button that would make people more patient. He called it "amazing." He further said that there was no connection between Osama bin Laden, Iraq and 9/11, and effectively was saying the President was using that national tragedy. How do you respond to that?

MR. McCLELLAN: And who made any suggestion of a link to the attacks? What the President was talking about was that September 11th taught us important lessons. It taught us that we must confront threats before they full materialize, before they reach our shores. That's why the President decided we were going to take the fight to the enemy. We are taking the fight to the enemy abroad so that we don't have to fight them here at home. We are on the offense, not defense. And that's the way you fight and wage and win the war on terrorism.

The President of the United States, during his Tuesday speech:

Link #1:

The troops here and across the world are fighting a global war on terror. The war reached our shores on September the 11th, 2001. The terrorists who attacked us -- and the terrorists we face -- murder in the name of a totalitarian ideology that hates freedom, rejects tolerance, and despises all dissent. Their aim is to remake the Middle East in their own grim image of tyranny and oppression -- by toppling governments, by driving us out of the region, and by exporting terror.

[snip]

Iraq is the latest battlefield in this war. Many terrorists who kill innocent men, women, and children on the streets of Baghdad are followers of the same murderous ideology that took the lives of our citizens in New York, in Washington, and Pennsylvania. There is only one course of action against them: to defeat them abroad before they attack us at home.

Link #2:

The only way our enemies can succeed is if we forget the lessons of September the 11th, if we abandon the Iraqi people to men like Zarqawi, and if we yield the future of the Middle East to men like Bin Laden.

Link #3:

We have more work to do, and there will be tough moments that test America's resolve. We're fighting against men with blind hatred -- and armed with lethal weapons -- who are capable of any atrocity. They wear no uniform; they respect no laws of warfare or morality. They take innocent lives to create chaos for the cameras. They are trying to shake our will in Iraq, just as they tried to shake our will on September the 11th, 2001. They will fail. The terrorists do not understand America. The American people do not falter under threat, and we will not allow our future to be determined by car bombers and assassins.


In Link #1, the President chararcterized the 9/11 attacks not as a terrorist assult, but a declaration of war. The President has not been clear as to who the actual target in the war is (The Taliban? Osama bin Laden and his followers? Muslim Terrorsits? All Terrorists, despite their background or nationality?) but has inferred in his speech that the group is Middle East in origin. Notice how their "aim" has nothing to do with areas outside the Middle East. Because Iraq is also in the Middle East, the President concludes that the adversaries there are no different then the ones who plotted and implemented the 9/11 attacks.

In Link #2, the President equates failure as either surrendering Iraq to Zarqawi, surrendering the Middle East to bin Laden, forgetting the impact of the 9/11 attacks. The latter two are connectted to what happened on American soil, the first one is based on America's entry into Iraq. But to the President, all three are the same.

In Link #3, the bolded quote says is all: those who tried to "shake our will" in the 9/11 attacks are the same people who are fighting our soldiers in Iraq. The President couldn't have made his perceptions any clearer.

BTW, what 9/11 taught me was:

1. Life is short. Enjoy it while you can.
2. The inverse of what Gene Roddenberry said is also true: yesterday's allies can become tomorrow's enemies.
3. As a whole, the US Government (Intelligence Community, Executive/Legislative/Judicial Branches, the media outlets who make a living covering these aformentioned groups) were asleep at the wheel.

Now I have learned a new lesson: Scott and the President do not have a clear understanding of what a "terrorist" is. Until they do, we may be in for more pep rally speeches that the people barely care about.