David Rodeback's Blog

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Life Among the Mormons, and Other Stuff

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Friday, May 27, 2005

Cell Phones: I heard on the news this week that the next great functionality to come to cell phones is television. Imagine the convenience of watching your favorite show on a one-inch diagonal screen! I have no interest in doing so. My only concern is the lady in the SUV at a major intersection I frequent, where five lanes meet five lanes. I recently saw her (1) holding her cell phone to her ear with one hand while (2) turning left in heavy traffic, (3) holding a beverage in the other hand, and (4) turning her head to say something to the children sitting behind her. I'm not sure she could function at all if she were watching Oprah on her cell phone instead of talking into it.

Senate: I've been reading all sorts of commentary on the compromise reached in the US Senate to avoid a showdown over filibusters. I'm not going to rehash any of it. It appears to me to be a partial victory for both sides - which is better than a defeat, I suppose. But the Spineless Seven Republicans who helped engineer the compromise gave up a crucial piece of ground. In the essential battle to determine who gets to define the terms of the debate, they surrendered without firing a shot. No matter, though. It will all come up again when there is a Supreme Court nominee, if not sooner.

Memorial Day: The Big Media Acronyms are hyping their own Memorial Day escapade of reading the names of all the American soldiers killed in Iraq. Even Doonesbury is printing a complete list. Are we supposed to believe that the BMA are having a sudden fit of patriotism? At the same time, we're hearing that the War on Terror, defined as having begun on September 11, 2001, is now almost as long as World War II (defined as beginning December 7, 1941, with the bombing of Pearl Harbor), but has so far left us without a decisive victory. Apparently, freeing the slaves of Iraq and Afghanistan so they can vote in real elections doesn't count as a victory.

I'm not hearing the BMA make any of these points:

  • The war on terror began a long time before September 11, 2001.
  • World War II had been going for a couple of years before Pearl Harbor.
  • More US soldiers were killed in Europe after V-E Day - meaning after the official end of hostilities - than have been killed the US actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, during and after the campaigns..
  • And finally, it is a wonder that, after a few years of actual combat in the war on terror, our military dead are still so few that their names can fit into a Nightline broadcast or two, or a few comic strips. For every American soldier who has died in Afghanistan or Iraq in the current campaign, about two hundred died in World War II - and even that is an order of magnitude smaller than the number of Russians who died in what they call the Great Patriotic War, which was even longer for them than for us.

I will observe Memorial Day in my own way, without the help of the BMA.

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