Category: "culture/news"

A quote

. . . this year is going to be a year of patriotism and devotion to country. I am glad to know that people in every part of the country mean to be devoted to one flag, the glorious Stars and Stripes; that the people of this country mean to maintain the financial honor of the country as sacredly as they maintain the honor of the flag. --William McKinley (People's History of the US p. 295)

News from the left

My dad feeds himself a steady diet of conservative talk radio. I keep telling him that he needs more balance, and he said I should send him some links. So I'm looking for some left-leaning news sources that don't go so far as to freak him out. He's used to liberals being the butt of jokes, and I want him to be able to take the left seriously, so extremists need not apply. If you have any links, post a comment or email me.

An Unjust War

After an act of violence against us, the President took us to war against a sovereign nation. His proposal was approved easily, since his party controlled both houses of Congress. Many in the opposition party thought the war was unjust and only entered for political and economic reasons, but most of them went along with it. They knew that they didn’t have enough votes to stop the President, and they didn’t want to appear unpatriotic or like they weren’t supporting the troops. The debate in Congress was short, and the evidence wasn’t examined closely.

There was much talk of bringing liberty and freedom to more people, but the US troops were not welcomed as liberators. An insurgency developed and the military was soon understaffed and short on supplies. At home the country became sharply divided over the issue. The war was generally supported in the south and opposed in the north. The minority party proved ineffective and increasingly irrelevant.

What I've just given you is a description of the Mexican-American War (1846-1848). I was reading in A People's History of the United States last night and I was struck by how familiar it sounded. Democratic President James K. Polk rushed the country to war after a border dispute left many American soldiers dead. The Whig party suspected that the war was an attempt to seize southwestern land from Mexico, annex it as southern states, and swing the balance of power further toward the Democratic party. But the Whigs did little to stop the unjust war, and less than 10 years later the party was over for the Whigs.

Out of the ashes of the Whig party came a new party with a strong, new leader. Abraham Lincoln had been an opponent of the war with Mexico, and his new party took a stronger stand against slavery than the Whigs had. The next great leader of the new party was Ulysses S. Grant, who had fought in the Mexican-American war and recalled it as "one of the most unjust wars ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation. It was an instance of a republic following the bad example of European monarchies, in not considering justice in their desire to acquire additional territory."

One hundred and fifty years later and the country is still divided. Will history continue to repeat itself? Will a new party, with strong leaders and good causes, come on the scene and tip the balance of power in another direction? Will the division deepen to the point of civil war?

For further reading:A People's History of the United States, Mexican-American War, James K. Polk, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Democrats, Whigs, Republicans.

School board election update

The school board election is April 5th, 2005. There are three spots open. The candidates are

Kellie Case
Steve Cooper
Jim Hester
Monte Johnson
Steve Lewis (incumbent)
Vanessa Tallman

Do they call them candidates because they're candid? We'll find out soon. Send me the questions you want answered.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should say that Monte Johnson is a friend. He and his family have been our dinner guests and he's a member of my church. I'll do my best to be objective, but I thought I should disclose that.

School board candidate interviews

I think I'm going to try to do email interviews with each person running for the school board in Adrian. I need you to submit questions that you want answered. I'll get the questions to the candidates and publish their answers here. Post your questions as comments or email me (personman2 at gmail dot com).


Earlier this week I came from work and there was a cat in our garage. It was hiding in some of our junk trying to stay warm. I hadn't seen it yet, but it was meowing a loud, sick, pathetic meow. I grabbed a broom and pried it out with the handle. I was expecting to pull out some nasty old disease-ridden cat, but it was a beautiful cat that was little more than a kitten. Suddenly we felt sorry for it and started talking about feeding it. But we moved it outside and shut the garage door so it could go find its home.

Last night we were hanging around playing games and some neighbor kids came up and knocked on our door. They said there was a cat outside under our car and they wondered if we had one missing. It was starting to snow.

Today we went outside and we could still hear that sad meowing. We asked my mom what she thought and she said that it probably didn't have a home. So we borrowed her flea shampoo and went and put the cat back in the garage and gave it some milk. While it drank the milk we went to the new Dollar General in Adrian and picked up some cat litter, food, scratch post and bed. We came home and gave it a bath.

Once it had dried off and calmed down my parents brought Emma over and introduced her to our new cat. They had been working on names. Here are some that Emma suggested and Jenny transcribed: Bracion, Phoner, Fecal-fecal, Nanovacal, Ripfrekal, Hippovekal, Skin and Handsome. But the name that Emma invented and stuck with is Bearsmicks. Check out the pictures in the Bearsmicks gallery.

Decroded piece of crap!

Here's a pretty good Napoleon Dynamite soundboard. A couple of observations are in order.

  1. Decroded or decroted? Either way I don't think it's a real word.
  2. When I searched google for "decroded piece of crap," this was the fifth result.
  3. Sara loved this movie when she saw it in the theater, which was long before it was as popular as it is now.
  4. My lips hurt real bad.
  5. Update:
  6. Decroded @
  7. Decroded @

We're racing for the title of champion of the universe

Rally Trophy - Nice work by Aulophobia tracking this flash game down. Build your own slot racing track then race against a computer or human opponent.

(via Sleepless Nights)

Imaginary friend for sale

I never had an imaginary friend, but if I did I don't think I would sell her on eBay for $0.99.

Links, get 'em while they're hot

If some old Jesus toast is worth tens of thousands, then how much would people pay for a Jesus-looking oyster shell? (via Linkfilter)

Bryan Berg: Cardstacker - Wow. The gallery is worth a look. (via Linkfilter)

A new blog: Mare's Mess.

A blog that's surprisingly entertaining.

The World's Oldest Blog.

Could Jon Stewart replace Dan Rather?

The Daily Sucker - From the maker of Web Pages That Suck. A new example of bad web design every day. My newest subscription in Bloglines.

Who is funding the massive campaign to convince people that privatizing Social Security is good?

That's all I've got.

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