If You Build It, They Will Come.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

My Soapbox

What follows will be another post about politics, race, religion, and other controversy. Leave a comment if you wish and discuss. You've been warned.

I just got an email warning me that Barack Obama has a muslim upbringing, and that muslims want to destroy this country from within. I'm not going to say who it was from, but I will say that I was surprised to get it from them.

My opinion is that ignorance is not bliss. It's deadly.

Rob mentioned once that his class of kids thought Iraq attacked us on 9/11. That would justify the Iraq war, if it were true.

This email made the assumption that muslims are the terrorists, and not that the terrorists are muslims. Last week's attack at Virgina Tech was done by a highly unstable student of South Korean descent. It does not mean all South Korean college students are going to kill us. The Oklahoma City bombing was done by a highly unstable white guy from Michigan. It does not mean all white guys from Michigan are terrorists.

Yeah, terrorists. The word has somehow become synonomus with al Qaeda, or radical muslims. But a terrorist is someone who engages in the act of terrorism, the organized threatening of violence or act of violence against civilians in order to get your way or make a political statement. Timothy McVeigh was a terrorist. The Centennial Olympic Park bombing in 1996 was a terrorist attack done by Eric Robert Rudolph. Rudolph was part of a group called "The Army of God," a right wing CHRISTIAN extremist group, which partakes in the organized bombing of abortion clinics the nation over. These are also terrorist acts, done by terrorists. Christian terrorists.

Yet we don't see christians and "keep our eyes on them." We don't send out mass emails saying they may commit acts of terrorism if elected president. Why do we do this for muslims?

On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was working at Croyden Avenue Schools. I was in class standing next to a kid named Habib, a friend of mine, a really funny guy, and a muslim from Afghanistan, when we heard what had happened. He was just as horrified as I was.

But we came up with the Patriot Act. And we jailed muslims all over the country on warrantless causes, denied them access to lawyers, and investgated. We suspended our rights as Americans, and took away our own freedoms, all out of fear. Which is very interesting...

We paint this picture of al Qaeda, as these thoughtless barbarians who live in caves. But we don't give them enough credit. They're smart enough to pilot planes very accurately. They're smart enough to launch a very organized attack and hijack four planes all simultaneously. They are smart enough to time the second hit on the World Trade Center with enough time after the first so that all the news media would broadcast their attack live to the whole world. And they are smart enough to know that you don't destroy America by knocking down a few buildings, just as you don't kill someone from the wound from a poison dart. The dart causes the noticable damage and pain, the hit is swift and painful, but not at all fatal. Then you slowly die from within.

America is the beacon of freedom, Liberty Enlightening The World, give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the freedom of speech, the freedom of religion, and the freedom from religious persecution, all of which we gave up out of fear after seeing the World Trade Center fall. All those things America was built on, those principles that made us who we were, are all dead or dying slowly.

If al Qaeda wanted to destroy us from the inside, they are succeeding.

They are smart enough to know that to knock down all the dominos, you only need to knock down the first one.

We cannot continue to let this terrorist attack justify the transformation of this country from what is was to what it is becoming. I hate to draw this parallel, but there was another terrorist attack on February 27, 1933 in Berlin when the Reichstag Building, the equivalent of the Capitol Building in the USA, burned. Afterwards a new law was put into place, "justified" by the attack, called the Reichstag Fire Decree. It suspended human rights, just like the Patriot Act. It was also used to single out an entire race. Today it's the Muslims, back then it was the Jews.

They say if you don't learn from history you are doomed to repeat it. So please, let's stop this before we get really carried away.

It wasn't the Muslims who attacked us on Sept. 11, just like it wasn't the Christians who attacked Centennial Olympic Park. The goal of any religion on earth is peace and love. You'll always have the occasional asshole who is a homicidal maniac, and reads it wrong. Don't blame them all for it. Because I'm a white guy from Michigan, and I don't want my freedoms taken away because of Timothy McVeigh.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Lost: Season 3

Okay, I've sat back and listened, and now I think it's time I dropped my two cents. I'm getting tired of people bitching about Lost.

"Oh the show isn't doing as good as it used to, it might be getting cancelled."

"This season is so slow, we haven't learned anything."

"Nikki and Paulo are stupid characters."

Okay, shut up.

If you've not been watching Lost this season, and are waiting for the DVD's or maybe you've Tivoed it, or something, and you don't want to know what's going on, consider this your official

************SPOILER ALERT************

First of all, Lost has already been renewed for Season 4, so it's not getting cancelled. Secondly, yes the ratings are down, but I would say it has a lot to do with the show moving from 8pm to 10pm more than anything. It's still the best in its timeslot.

Moving on to people's gripes about the season.

I check out this site occasionally called the Delta Park Project. It's a podcast hosted by two people named Jason and Anna, and every week (give or take) they do a segment called Delta Park Gets Lost, where they talk about what happened this week on Lost. At first I enjoyed it because they would say interesting things and make points about the show, now it seems all they do is make fun of it, and point out "theories" that are obviously wrong, or not too well thought out.

Do I sound like an obsessed fanboy yet? I'm just getting started.

To all the people who think we haven't learned anything this season, remember where we left off. At the end of season two, Jack, Sawyer, and Kate were all taken by Henry Gale and his band of hillbilly Others. Desmond turned the key inside the Swan hatch, everything got bright, the sky turned purple, and a door fell from the sky. That's where we were. We've come a long way.

-The Others are in fact NOT hillbillies. They live in a happy little community with houses and a pool table and plumbing and electricity, and until the sky turned purple, they had contact with the outside world.

-Henry Gale's real name is Benjamin Linus, and he is a high ranking member of the Others.

-Juliet Burke is another Other, with some kind of history with Ben. She's also a fertility doctor from Florida, who was recruited to the island by Ethan and a man possibly posing as a doctor named Richard Alpert, from a company called Mittelos Bioscience.

-Most of the Others are recruited. Some, like Ben, were born on the island.

-The Others may not be Dharma Scientists as previously thought, they may in fact be enemies to the Dharma Inititive, even though they use all the Dharma facilities. This is shown by another Other named Mikhail claiming there was a "purge" when the Dharma people tried to wipe out the Others, whom they called "The Hostiles."

-Alex Rousseau believes Ben is her father, and that her mother died a long time ago.

-Jack's tattoos mean "He walks with us, but he is not one of us."

-Cindy and the children are alive and well.

-There is someone from the Others camp named Jacob, who came up with some kind of list, presumably of the "good" and "bad" people on the island. Locke appears to be on this list of good people.

-Locke was paralyzed because his father threw him out of an eighth story window.

-Eko is dead, killed by the smoke monster, who apparently can change shape, or make people see people from their past.

-Sun knows Charlie and Sawyer were the ones who kidnapped her, not the Others. Jin doesn't know this.

-Sun's baby may be Jae's, the man who was teaching her english, and not Jin's.

-Desmond's sailboat that Sayid used to infiltrate the Other's camp was taken from him by the Others.

-The Others have a submarine. Or HAD a submarine until Locke possibly blew it up. When he was captured, he was soaking wet, so speculation is that he may have sunk it and blew up the end of the dock so the Other's think they lost the sub.

-Locke's dad is on the island... maybe.

-Locke's dad used two aliases: Anthony Cooper and Adam Seward. Those two names together are an anagram of "Sawyer the Con Man, a poor dad." Giveing more to speculation that Locke's dad is the original Sawyer who conned James "Sawyer" Ford's parents.

-The hatch imploded, Desmond, Locke, and Eko survived. Desmond somehow possibly relived his life up until he came to the island, possibly was unconscious and shown the past, and told it couldn't be changed, and that fate always stays on track. He still tries to change the future, after constantly getting visions of Charlies death.

-Locke can communicate with "the island" better now than Ben can. This is pointed out by Locke who makes the point that Ben is in a wheelchair, and Locke is not.

-We've now seen The Swan, The Pearl, The Hydra, The Flame, The Arrow and the Staff. All six hatches from the blast door map.

-Nikki and Paulo were two survivors of Flight 815. They came and went. Paulo knew about the Pearl hatch long before anyone else, as well as the plan to kidnap Jack to help Ben. He told no one, and subsequently was buried alive next to Nikki.

-Ethan was a surgeon. Ben needed a spinal surgeon to remove a tumor on his back, and Jack did the surgery, in exchange for returning home. He never got to leave.

-The barracks where the Others live is surrounded by some sonic fence thing. The smoke monster cannot get through it.

-Supposedly the Others don't know what the smoke monster is either. At least Juliet doesn't.

-Alex has a boyfriend named Karl, who Kate and Sawyer rescued. Carl then was set free.

-Rousseau knows Alex is alive, and has seen her. Alex may suspect her mother is still alive based on what Sayid told her.

-Miss Klugh is dead, because she told Mikhail to kill her (in Russian) once they were captured by Locke, Kate, and Sayid. When Mikhail was killed by the sonic fence after Locke threw him into it, he smiled and said "Thank you."

**********SPOILER'S END**************

So seriously, a lot has happened. People are just whining because all the answers aren't just given to them on a plate. The mystery is what makes the show, once they answer something, they HAVE to ask something else, or else the show would be over. So just relax and don't try to pull everything out of it immediately, just let it run it's course. And please stop complaining. It's still as good as it ever was, if not better.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

...come on you target for faraway laughter. come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr and shine...