Hey. Hope things are going ok out there.
Last night Roundball and Jamie went to pick up Jamie's new car, which is a shiny, red new CRV. It's pretty cool to have two CRVs in the family (for those of you who have never seen my car, I have a blue 2000 model CRV) , albeit two generations apart. Anyhow, it's a pretty cool new ride, and Jamie took Roundball and I to dinner in it over at Hyde Park Grill. Ryan wants to dub Jamie's new ride "The Badger" because that's what we used to call Ryan's red '84 Honda Accord back in high school, but I don't think Jamie is going for it.
I took some pictures of Jamie's new car, but somehow I screwed them up, so here's a picture of a CRV off of the Honda website that looks an awful lot like hers (although maybe not exactly).
Other from that, I didn't do too much last night. I watched a movie called Primeval about a giant, man-eating crocodile named Gustave. The movie is very, very loosely based upon a true story about a giant crocodile in Burundi that kept eating people. It was a pretty weak movie, mostly because the writer tried to make some kind of laborious point about how man was ultimately responsible for creating this monster crocodile (because the crocodile had become huge and vicious by feeding off the corpses of the genocide victims that were dumped into the African river in which it lived). I'm not sure why people feel the need to try to spin these animal attack movies into morality tales, but it almost always happens (The Ghost and the Darkness was about colonialism in Africa, Jaws is about the lack of respect that modern man has for the ocean, King Kong is about the intersection of industrialist capitalism with the mysteries of the ancient, natural world, - etc. and so forth). I just like seeing animals eat people, and think that's good enough. After all, people enjoy eating animals all the time without any profound justification, so I'm of the opinion that animals don't really need any kind of profoundly moral reason for eating people. Anyway, in Primeval, the director's half-hearted attempt at referencing the horrors of African genocide within the context of a killer croc horror movie seemed not only misplaced, but kind of confused and cumbersome. It's hard to take truly disturbing social issues seriously when they're placed in the same movie with a 50 foot computer generated killer lizard. Fortunately, however, Primeval stayed true enough to its horror movie roots to reinforce the notion that if you're white and good-looking enough, you can survive pretty much anything. Ugly folk and minorities best watch their backs.
On a subtly different note, Steanso wishes farewell to Ladybird Johnson today, as well. Admittedly, I don't know too much about her, but I know that she was a big supporter of the University of Texas, helped establish the wildflower center and some highway beautification programs, championed a number of social causes (including Head Start, the Job Corps, and the War on Poverty), helped start some important businesses in Austin (including TV and radio stations), and was a well-loved first lady. Anyway, people really love her here in Central Texas, and I know she'll be missed.
Last, but not least, a new government report states that Al Qaeda is now the strongest that it has been since the attacks of 9/11, back in 2001. Of course I'm mad that the war has been pointless, that Al Qaeda is still highly functional and dangerous, and that our head of Homeland Security is telling us that he has a strong "gut feeling" that there may be an attack this summer, but at this point I'm just mad at the Democrats for not standing on the Senate floor every single day and counting the number of days since 9/11 and pointing out the fact that we still don't have Bin Laden or his highest ranking officers. We've got ourselves a war, sure, but the people actually responsible for 9/11 are still at large, unpunished, and continuing to pose a terrible threat to U.S. security. I said from the beginning that our response to 9/11 needed to be more akin to a massive criminal investigation and manhunt than to a military escalation, but Americans are more comfortable with war than thinking, and the next thing you know we've drummed up some enemies so that we could have a good and proper war (well, at least that was the mindset at the time) rather than doing the more difficult work of hunting down the truly responsible parties.
We gave Al Qaeda exactly what they were looking for when they attacked us. We showed the world that we were unthinking brutes who were willing to attack anyone target of convenience (accepting civilian deaths as "collateral damage" along the way) so long as it satisfied our mindless need for revenge. Now Al Qaeda has a training ground and countless examples of unjust U.S. action to use in their recruitment propaganda. They have a safe haven within Pakistan, and the U.S. seems unwilling or unable to effectively root them out of that country for fear of alienating one of our allies (although I still don't really understand that mindset- I don't understand how Pakistan is doing us many more favors than Afghanistan did under the Taliban's rule. Of course, among other differences, Pakistan has nukes).
Anyway, the Democrats need to be capitalizing on this horrible failure. They need a plan to bring these people to justice, and they need to be begging the public to put a Democrat into the White House so that they can put an end to this threat.
Man, I blogged a lot today, but it's been fast and furious blogging. I bet there are a lot of typos. Hope you guys are ok.