A study in hypocrisy

I'm not much for war. I've got even less quarter for a dictator using his military to kill people so he can cling to his palace. So, Libya is tough for me to reconcile. It's obvious that Ghaddafi was, and is, laying siege to cities within his own country. And when homes go up against tanks, tanks win.

So in the end, I hesitantly support an effort to slow those tanks down. To stop them in their tracks before the people in them are commanded to attack neighborhoods they might have grown up in. And I'm glad that the President consulted with congressional leadership first. I'm also glad that there was a rather emphatic UN resolution and that the Arab League is supporting and participating in the military action. I'm also glad that the President has declared again and again that we will not be committing ground troops to the effort. If we must fire a bullet, this seems like the way to do it. Decisively, quickly, and with global support.

Back home, you'd think that those who benefit most from the military industrial complex would support such a move. But instead, there's talk that the intervention is unconstitutional. That we should defund the war and take the supplies away from our troops so they can no longer participate. I find this despicable.

Where were these voices of leadership when we were lied to about Iraq? Where were these brave politicians when we were told there were weapons of mass destruction? When we were led to believe that somehow Al Qaeda was being harbored within Iraq's borders when the real intelligence said Saddam Hussein did not trust the group and wanted nothing to do with them? That he feared they would destabilize his country? I'm not saying that Hussein was any less the dictator than Ghaddafi, I actually believe he was worse. But the stories I've heard were not among the reasons given. The truth about his genocide against his own people was not the evidence and justification provided. And many of the politicians in office now who are crying foul are the same ones who beat the drum of lies that led us into Iraq.

I give Dennis Kucinich a pass. He has always been against armed conflict in other countries. The rest of the House of Representatives appears to be more like a house of cards. And most of them are jokers. They are scoring political points on the graves of dead men, women, and children killed by a dictator. They are toying with the bravest of our society who voluntarily agreed to be in our military. Yes, goals need to be defined. Yes, we need to understand the scope of the conflict and understand what constitutes victory. We also needed to know those things in Iraq. Instead we got a President declaring from an aircraft carrier that the fighting was over months before it ever really got started. And by the way, the last time Congress voted on a declaration of war, was World War II. No such declaration for Korea, Vietnam, Iraq I, Somalia, Afghanistan, or Iraq II. Not saying they shouldn't have, but they didn't.

The intervention in Libya is giving the voting public an opportunity. A chance to look at their politicians and see what they are worth. To see how they react to a terrible situation. To take a measurement of their values. I sincerely hope the voting public takes it.


Should a house have more than one very excellent TV?

I was just reading a snippet of The Cosby Codex, a series of writings about The Cosby Show on the McSweeney's website, when I was stopped dead in my tracks by an observation. The Codex mentioned that the Cosby house was home to only one TV.

10 years ago I wouldn't have found this particularly interesting. But today, we hear stories of TVs in bedrooms, on computers, in cars, and even in bathrooms. Yikes. There are lots of declarations that a television in the bedroom is bad for a couple. There are even more that too much TV is bad for children.

I personally try to avoid the latest and greatest show that everyone is watching because I like my free time. And I find I already have too little of it to dedicate hours each week to a show. Particularly when that show is filled with pitiful excuses for story lines manufactured around sheer stupidity. I'm looking squarely at you Jersey Shore. In fairness, my downtime is often spent in shows that are self-contained. Thirty minutes of The Family Guy doesn't force you to come back next week to see what happens next. And it must be said that my aversion to such inane shows was founded in a precursor to the Jersey Shore: the original Survivor. Yes MTV's Real World was first, but that was blatantly manufactured. At least Survivor had a thin veneer of reality. Or at least real dirt. And I found myself addicted. I was there every week with many friends watching that train wreck wash up on shore. Afterward, I smelled like shame. I can only imagine that the more screens, the more opportunity for addiction and shame.

Now back to The Cosby Show. This is one of those singular shows that should be watched. Because, unlike the pseudo-reality shows, it does show us the truth and presents it with heart. Th real reality is we don't need a TV. We need food. We need water. We want TV. Preferably in size XXL. But let's keep it to just one so that the family can all be there together. Let's watch movies and basketball games. And let's watch more of The Cosby Show. It will give us something worth talking about.