Letters to Holly

Thursday, June 1

Supper and Spelling

We had a late-ish dinner with Kathy and Travis at the local pub. Another great time, as usual. Tonis leaves within the month, and we need a going-away party for her. Something silly and upbeat. Also, she needs to give us back some DVDs. She's German; she's annexed them. I offered to help Travis paint the nursery this weekend, but he wants to tackle the project himself, and I can understand that completely. But if he changes his mind, we'll shoot the shit and inhale toxic fumes all day. Your Sister is still in the Sick Bed, but we managed to watsh come of the Heat-Pistons game last night as she slowly crashed into oblivion. Because we dated over state lines, we started a tradition of watching at least one NBA finals game in a bar. We'll to that again this year. Doesn't matter who's playing. We commandeer a table for the whole game, from anthem to wrap-up, and drink like fish. School's usually over by that point anyway.

Tonight, ABC airs the final round of the National Spelling Bee. If you've never seen it, this is hypnotic stuff. The coverage this year includes short features to introduce the favorites to win. No es bueno. The kids shouldn't be the object of that kind of intimate speculation. They should be like racehorses: They show up, do their thing, and go back home. The only celebrity is the winner. Or some kid who does something loopy when he realizes he can't win. I want to see a small bespectacled lad imitate a Jay-Z rap instead of giving a go at "encephalon." What happens if he won't stop? Will security take him down? Can we see a nerd get Tasered on live TV?

Picture of the Day
The new international poster for the Soupyman film. No bad at all.

In the news
The allegations of a Marine slaughter in Haditha, Iraq allows the right-wing folks to claim it's all a ploy by liberals to slam the military, which they supposedly hate. Both Hugh Hewitt and Sean Hannity began yesterday's radio shows with a plea for level-headed investigations and then proceeded to insult everybody who might have once read a New York Times once in their lives. I don't agree with the suggestion that such an incident means the entire military is amoral nor do I think they followed some shadowy mandate from the Pentagon to do this. Although some like leftwing host Randi Rhodes do say the Abu Ghraib guards were following orders to torture. Maybe so. But we can't overlook the inherent probability of such events by battle-ragged assholes.

Like any other large organization, you're going to get a segment that lacks discipline and good judgement. And in that segment will lurk another that is just fundamentally flawed, a bad thing waiting to happen. War is no excuse for inhumanity, and what I don't like from hannity and Hewitt is their repeated effort last night to exucse such an incident by saying how another marine was killed by a bomb. This rationalizes, to them, a bloodthirsty rage. Rage is understandable, but the military is all about focusing that for effective combat, not storming a private house and killing families. Ugly rhetoric is gonna fly no matter the outcome of the investigation. It's a midterm election year; folks are grabbing for any rallying stance they can find, and the GOP needs to stir up pro-military voters to buoy their chances for holding Congress just as much as the Democrats want to say Iraq is devolving into chaos. The GOP talking heads are attacking former Marine and Congressman John Murtha for his comments about the incident. They claim he's insulting the Corps, but he's saying the troops are under too much stress to act rationally. He's defending them, proving he's still loyal to the Marines.

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