Tag Archives: monologue

Half Test, Half Actual Content.


TheDougem Drives, where I rant in my car in order to make use of all the damn time I spend driving. Consider this my ‘unplugged’ segments. I’ll probably go off on tangents, I’ll rant, get pumped up, and probably bellow some since usually I’ll be talking about things that piss me off. Don’t turn this up too loud!

In this inaugural rant I discuss Breitbart’s death and the tone of commentary surrounding it as well as the broader political sphere.

Obama’s Inauguration: Monologue


I just finished watching the inauguration of our new president.

Talk about a complex swirling of emotions. For me, and many of the people I know, Bush has been our president for almost half of our lives. Many of us have been frustrated, and angered by his performance, and his approval ratings at the end of his presidency were amongst the lowest in history. America is frustrated, and desperate for some change in Obama. Personally, I am not happy with Bush for many reasons – mainly with the early conduct of the Iraq war, and his major expansion of government. However, I am forever grateful to the man for doing an outstanding job of watching over the nation. When faced with a world-changing attack on September 11th, he reacted exactly as we should have – and ever since that day, our soil has been untouched. Say what you will about Bush, but he cared about our safety, more so then almost anything else – and that’s what I believe history will remember him for.

It is during his last days that a president is often the most hated. Some of our most popular presidents of yesterday were despised by the common man under their rule, and as people today sneer at Bush, and call him ‘the worst ever’, I simply invite you to look at Calvin Coolidge, James Buchanan, or Warren G. Harding. It always could be worse.

I watched Marine One rise from the capitol steps with mixed feelings – this is a huge shift for this country. It’s not quite the end of an era – more like a change in focus – or an attempt to change the focus of the country. It was odd, watching the man who presided over a tumultuous period in our history finally leave, and hand his power to his successor peacefully, the way it should be. I knew it was coming, but it never quite hits you when it actually happens. When Obama finished his oath, people were cheering – but it seemed somewhat muted, as if people were remembering that we are stepping forward into hard times. And indeed, we are – the world is a much scarier place now then it seemed a decade ago.

I remain cautiously optimistic about Obama, and will continue to be as I judge his actions over the term, or terms, of his presidency, until he gives me good reason to believe otherwise. Many of you have high hopes, and others fears – and I expect he will surprise us all with what he ultimately does. Many folks love Obama right now – and this is a proud moment for our nation indeed, this is the time to be celebratory. But be wary – In times like these, inevitably, he will make choices that will be very unpopular. We must remember that there is still a great deal of frustration and fear in this country – frustration at the political process, frustration with corruption, anger towards people such as Bernie Madoff, and those in power who always seem to somehow get away with ripping off their fellow man.

Washington is still the same as it always has been, if Pelosi and Harry Reid have been any indication, as we saw with their political gamesmanship with Burris and Blagojevich. Don’t be surprised if we see a lot of spars between Obama and the Democratic leadership – already, lines are being drawn in the sand, rhetoric being thrown back and forth. Extremist elements in the democratic party are thirsty to use the power they have been handed by a disgruntled nation, and Obama’s biggest challenge will be to keep these elements in check.

The ceremony itself was fairly nice – the musical performance with Perlman, Yo-yo ma, and others was a treat – especially when it rang with echoes of Aaron Copeland, while the poet laurette and the 2nd pastor were a bit odd. What sticks with me however, was the National Anthem sung by the navy chanters. Call me sentimental, but when done properly – with dignity – it never fails to fill me with emotion. Obama’s speech was also pretty well done, and inspiring – while I listened with some skepticism, I was still impressed. Say what you will about him, but the man gives great speeches – like Bush used to when he was first elected.

So, my hat goes off to my – our new president. He finally has it – the day I never thought I’d be seeing has come and gone. I wish him the best, for all of our sakes. I do not agree with Obama on many things, and many of you know this – but I am an American, and Obama is my president. That simple fact will not change over the next four years, barring extraordinary circumstances. But I will also do my best to hold him accountable for what he does in office. And I encourage all of you to do the same, Left, right, no matter your ideology. I’m not asking you to be paranoid, or angry, or doubtful of everything he does – simply hold him to a high standard, make him EARN your trust and your faith in his actions. I think America has really stepped up to the plate in the past few months – as a whole, I believe we are more well informed, more interested in current events, and generally more actively involved in politics. This is a very positive thing – and it is exactly what we need to have continue so we can really make some progress in battling the corruption of the political class of this nation. Good luck Obama.

Keep an eye on this: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/executive-orders/disposition.html

EDIT 6/10/13: Light polishing

Monologue: Israel vs Hamas


First of all, before I dive into the rhetoric, let me begin by saying I hope everybody had a fantastic holiday season and New Years.

As I relaxed during my vacation, things heated up considerably between Israel and Palestine. We saw a week of air strikes followed by a massive ground invasion of the Gaza strip. As ‘official’ casualties stand, 4 Israeli’s are dead and roughly 400 Palestinians are dead, most of them Hamas members. This is obviously a huge story, and represents several things for Israel. The events have been and will be discussed to death – and people continue to endlessly argue about the why, the how, the what of how evil/cruel/ruthless either side is. Truth be told, we will not know the real answers until this is over. But, Israel is entirely justified in their actions, and are going about this as carefully and powerfully as they should be.

It’s important to look upon these events with a sense of perspective – Israel and Hamas greatly mistrust each other. They have been fighting for years, and both sides have dirt on their hands. However, Hamas has proven itself over and over again to be a ruthless regime that cares little for the good of their people. As part of their charter, their stated goal is to annihilate Israel, to keep up the fight until they have taken back all of ‘their’ land. As part of the truce that expired, we saw continuous rocket fire over the entire sumer. Hardly the stance of a country that wants to make peace. Hamas leaders, in the past, and especially when this past ‘truce’ was ratified, have openly, even proudly stated that any peace achieved would be used to gather strength and to prepare for fighting Israel. It is easy for many of us to underestimate such statements, dismiss them out of hand – but they take themselves seriously. They use any and all means to battle, as we see when they masterfully employ propaganda to further their goals. When they were given Gaza, they made sure that infrastructure was destroyed in order to perpetuate Palestinian’s constant state of misery – this misery and poverty makes them very susceptible to being manipulated and used as tools in a far greater agenda.¬† We also cannot forget the fact that Hamas is openly backed and supported by Iran – an accepted enemy and rival of Israel.

The government of Hamas is not interested in peace. They oppress their countrymen, and have forced Israel to act as harsh as they have the past year. The borders are closed for a reason – Weapon smuggling is rampant, and UN refugee camps have been used as centers for inciting hatred, violence, producing suicide bombers, and building weapons. Israel has every reason to want to control the flow over their borders, because they have been abused in the past. Egypt keeps their border closed as well – they do not want to get involved, and have other motives – which results in no supplies getting through except through smuggling tunnels. Egypt, like much of the arab world, sees the Palestinians as a useful thorn in the side of Israel. There are many reasons for this – there’s plenty of bad blood with Israel over past, lost wars, and with all the attention focused on Israel, they can maintain their oppressive regimes with little scrutiny. They will protest, trumpet loudly about the evils of the zionists – but they will only go so far, and we have seen them waffle and waver this past week.

Hamas must be toppled, and Israel has to step up to the plate and assist the Gazan state in rebuilding infrastructure and restoring normalcy to the area. Israel has already stated that their sole goal is to destroy Hamas, they have no intention of long term occupation. Gaza now belongs to the Palestinians, and it will stay that way. I urge all of you foaming at the mouth to condemn Israel to watch, wait, and observe events closely these next few weeks – roughly a week ago, Israel opened a border crossing, and we have seen them specifically target Hamas military targets. Civilian deaths result, despite the precision weaponry, because Hamas deploys in population centers. But, as Israel fills the region, and kicks Hamas out (Hamas has no chance of winning this fight, something I will discuss soon) we will likely see an outpouring of aid into the area.

I hope that I’m right, and I hope that this conflict is resolved as soon as possible. Not only is it dangerous for Israeli’s and Palestinians, it’s crucial to remember that as long as this conflict goes on, the world’s eyes will be averted from all else. Now is the perfect time for malevolent forces and regimes the world over to make bold moves and further their goals, and they’ve already begun.

A good overview of the overall situation, and yes, I read this AFTER I wrote this post. (Courtesy of a fellow digger)

http://www.honestreporting.com/a/gaza2008primer.html  ((Unfortunately dead link, goes to main page))

EDIT 6/10/13: Removed old announcements, dead link warning