Hey, guys. Steanso remains busy at work, but also committed to his faithful readers (which may exist only in his own mind, but I gotta justify this thing somehow).
I went and saw Romero's new flick, Land of the Dead, last night, and it was a lot of fun. Kind of schlocky, like a good zombie movie should be, but it had a few gross-out/horrifying moments that did a good job of paying homage to Romero's zombie movie tradition. The biggest problem with the movie wasn't the movie itself, but some apparent problem with the sound system at the Drafthouse that made parts of the movie sound like they had been filmed underwater. Oh well, the food and beer were good (as always) and it was a good time. Thanks to Jeff and Jackbart for accompanying me.
Here's a newsflash for you:
Apparently Democrats have begun to come to the conclusion that President Bush may have (and hold onto your seats for this one) exploited the September 11th attacks in his efforts to advance his own political agenda and to garner support for the war in Iraq. Wow. The Democrats have really made a bold call on this one. And how astute? It only took several years of war and 1700 American casualties (and untold Iraqi casualties) for someone to realize that there was no link between the Al Qaeda attacks on New York and Saddam Hussein. Bush continues to bandy about rhetoric that describes pre-invasion Iraq as a hotbed of terrorist activity, when most all of the commentators that I've seen on T.V. have said that there was very little terrorist activity at all in pre-war Iraq (not because Saddam was a nice guy who wanted to protect the world, but because he ruled his country with a Stalin-like iron fist and would not tolerate dissident political groups operating unsupervised within his country- as for state-sponsored terrorism, there simply has never been any evidence that the Iraqi government engaged in any such activity outside its own borders, and to the contrary, most accounts depict a deluded Hussein as seeing himself as an annointed leader of heavenly armies, deeming the desperate acts of most Middle Eastern terrorist groups as demeaning and beneath him).
Anyhooo, the Democrats are finally clicking to the fact that the Bush administration has been governing through fear-mongering for years (they've used 9-11 to justify everything from the stalled economy to the Iraq war to opening the arctic wildlife refuges to oil drilling) , but is it too little too late? The Democrats seemed initially afraid to call the Republicans out for exploiting the 9-11 attacks for political gain, but I think that was a mistake. Any time that there is a national catastrophe on the scale of 9-11, of course people are going to be afraid, but allowing the Republicans to manipulate that fear by invoking the specter of terrorist attack every time they want to pass a bill or take executive action is a position that the Democrats should have never allowed the Republicans to take. Shoving bills like the Patriot Act down our throats before the public has a chance to understand its ramifications (e.g., warrantless searches and wiretaps- increased surveillance of what we read on the internet or send in our email) shows a level of opportunism that even shocks me. I just don't believe that America just is so delicate that we need to leap to such radical solutions so quickly, and given that presumption, it seems that the flames of fear were fanned by individuals and groups who believe that it would be easier to govern our country without all of these pesky constitutional rights that our citizens are afforded. Some changes needed to be implemented following 9-11, but I'm not sure that gutting our constitutional protections as American citizens should have been the first action item on the agenda. After all, for an administration which was so concerned about terrorists operating within our country, the current administration has done almost nothing to stem the flow of illegal immigrants crossing into our country on a daily basis (of which, any number could be terrorists) or to boost funding to our country's immigration and naturalization services so that illegal aliens in our country might be tracked more readily.
Particularly in times of relative chaos and crisis, I think that it's important to keep a close eye on our leadership in order to make sure that they aren't leading the nation down paths that are not in keeping with our consitution and founding principles. What's the point of protecting our nation if we give up the only rights that make it worthwhile to be an American in the process?
Gotta go work. Another rant that got away from me...