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What makes a good blog? I think thematic consistency, a little exhibitionism, and honest writing. I can promise you the last one.

Most of my posts seem to be about music or politics. Some of them are funny. But all of them would love to hear a comment from you.

Oh-- and please welcome God to the APW team. We're thrilled and humbled to serve as His earthly vessel.

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I was born at a relatively young age. Growing up consumed the better part of my childhood. As a young man I chased a lot of girls. But they kept getting away. Then I got older and even slower, so I got married. I've lived in New York City almost since before I moved here. I summer in Manhattan, which is like New York City, but with more humidity.

Here's me, without baby, thinking big thoughts. (Actually, what I'm thinking is, "Hey, these aren't Pringles!") I think I look better with baby.

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More on Bush and Why I'm Scared that Something Blowing Up is Good for Him
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
In my last post I talked about feeling safer if a terrorist attack wasn't good for Bush. This pissed off roughly 20% of APW's regular readership (i.e., my brother.)

I do know I have a habit of thinking something through from point A to point B, then speaking or writing from point B without sufficiently explaining how I got there. So let me get clearer on this.

1. Why terrorism is good for the incumbent: Think back to 9/11; if you're really old think back to WWII. An act of terrorism on US soil results in something akin to widespread patriotism. I say "something akin" because it isn't actually patriotism; I'm from the school that dissent is one of the most patriotic acts a person who loves his or country can engage in. Its a little like jingoism, but that isn't right either. Let's just call it "team spirit." After 9/11, there was a lot of team spirit for team USA. Even in France.

What happens is, you don't question the Commander-in-Chief; you rally behind him. Indeed after 9/11 the administration took advantage of this phenomenon by rushing through the Patriot Act, a piece of legislatioin I submit would never have passed if not for 9/11, and which wouldn't pass right now. But in the frenzy of team spirit, no way it was going to fail.

So terrorism on US soil would unleash another wave of team spirit, making it incredibly difficult for Kerry to campaign against Bush without appearing to be a traitor. Has a sitting wartime American president ever been defeated?

2. Why it scares me that something blowing up in NYC is good for Bush: Let me be unambiguous about this. It is NOT because I think he's an evil man who would allow American lives to be deliberately lost to further his own personal quest for power (and everyone running for president is on a quest for power, let's not kid ourselves.) No, its because I think he is intellectually lazy, and the administration around him follows his lead. I do not, for example, think we should be in Iraq; Iraq never waged war on us, never represented a threat. Sure, the guy in charge was evil. But we aren't actually in the business of going around getting evil despots out of office (unless we invaded North Korea while I was out to lunch.) Indeed we prop them up as often as we eliminate them, because our actions are generally motivated by economic interest. OK, that rambled a bit, but point being, Bush's agenda is anti-Iraq, and he has too much of our defense expended there, when we really need it for the people we are actually at war with. See, his personal agenda affects our safety, because he is president. I believe with absolute certainty that the world would be safer if we hadn't invaded Iraq (except for Iraqis and Kurds; but certainly for Americans.)

So I am left with what I can only call a visceral feeling that maybe the president isn't as concerned with Wahhabi incursions as he should be, that he doesn't really properly see the lay of the land as it really is, that he is assuaged by the Saudis, who should be watched at all times with a wary eye. I just don't trust him, as a New Yorker, to keep me as safe as I feel I should be. I think in private he waves off these warnings with a smirk, doesn't believe them (and all the blaming of intelligence failures for 9/11 and the Iraqi invasion is a cop-out. There was plenty of intelligence, if one wanted to connect the dots and believe the story it told. We knew, for example, Wahhabi members of AL Qaeda were enrolled in US flight schools and didn't want to learn how to land the plane.)

Ultimately I believe that the trust Bush places in the Saudis, and the irrational visceral hatred he had for Saddam (fueled, of course, by the Saudis, who wanted no part of a reinvigorated Iraqi oil industry), make us all less safe, and make him complicit by sheer ignorance in the problems we have with the Wahhabis and in the middle east. He has been, to a great extent, a tool of the Wahhabis (again, read House of Bush, House of Saud; there's a link for it in the links section.) And I believe that, for that transgression alone, he deserves to lose his job. It may be the worst thing any president in my lifetime has done.

It would of course be nice if I could say Kerry "gets it" and would make everything better. Alas, nothing I've heard or read yet suggests to me he does (although, again, I like the shot he took at Saudi oil princes in the speech; I only wish I didn't think he was just pandering to those who saw the Moore movie.) This is why APW predicts a Kerry win, but has not endorsed Kerry.

To sum up and go off on another tangent: I know that's a little flimsy on why the Bush thing scares me. But its the best I can do because it is largely a visceral feeling. Thanks to my brother for forcing me to think more about these things.

By the way-- today the Times reports that much of the information on which Ridge's speech Sunday was based-- including the info on buildings targeted by Al Qaeda-- dates from circa 2000 or 2001. I still don't quite know what to make of that. Apparently what happened was they got leads in Pakistan that led them to places former Al Qaeda operatives had been, and they found a storehouse of information indicating intelligence gathering about these sites. It remains possible from what I read, though, that this research was part of the pre-work for 9/11, and not for the supposedly pending attack in the US.

However, I do believe Al Qaeda is planning something here, and soon, because they believe they influenced Spain's political process by blowing up that train, and shortly after the "Get Spain out of Iraq" guy won the election. So I feel confident they plan to have a similar impact here. Of course, such an attack would only serve to keep the guy they hate in power. And again, that loops back to, that just plain frightens me.

You know, I think we all like it better when i write about music.


Posted by: --josh-- @ 5:10 PM  

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