Well, this should be a very interesting blog, and I'm sure a good game of Whack-A-Troll is going to come out of it.
First, let me get what pisses me off out of the way...the most immediate part.
I made the mistake of reading the Letters to the Editor section of the Harrisburg Patriot-News, or as I call it, "The Rag." Generally, I consider nearly every newspaper published in this region as nothing more than a rag; the York papers are among the worst I've ever come across, and the Patriot-News isn't too far off.
Like most daily papers, they will print the most outrageous and idiotic letters, knowing they will piss people off, make them write more letters and by way of that, sell more papers. They don't care that a lot of these letter writers are barely literate, and have been fed a steady diet of media ignorance from TV, radio and the Internet.
The alternative universe loonie bin includes a well-worn topic: the draft.
BRING BACK THE DRAFT!, proclaimed some woman a while back, and today another woman fired off her missive agreeing with it.
The latest loon did make a good point about our military being stretched to the limit...and so, she reasons, we need to send all our 18-year-olds into the military to confront an enemy she claims is "more evil than any we faced in WWII."
Guess what's wrong with this picture? You and I both know it.
A draft will be fraught with people trying to get out of it. The rich, powerful and connected will NEVER serve, except in Officer's Training School, and only then if they're assured they'll get their bars or oak leaves.
It will, as this latest atrocity we call a war on terror, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Vietnam, and hell, date it back to the Civil War, where this term came from: "A rich man's war, a poor man's fight."
I'm quite sure the letter writers are too old to serve, and most of their demon spawn probably are too.
The real "enemy" is one within...let's not forget how the Iraq and Afghan wars were started, on a false premise, and how they have been perpetuated.
Quite plainly, we need to end our role in this insanity. The Iraqi and Afghan leadership need to take over in their own country; yes, we made the mess, we need to advise and to help, but we do not need gigantic residual forces there.
Our troops need to come home, to rest, get extended leave, get paid, and get the respect they deserve.
But we don't need a draft.
I'm so sick of armchair quarterbacks claiming they know what's good for the planet, and rags like the Patriot-News just nodding their collective bobbleheads and printing it like gospel truth.
Just so you know: I am NOT a pacifist. As a Buddhist, fighting is not something we need to do for gain, or for sport. You fight to DEFEND, not to destroy because you can.
Everyone whines about the troops fighting for freedom...our freedom. But wait, we're not fighting here, we're fighting over there...for their freedom...though we are again trying to change parts of the world that don't understand us, and we'll never understand.
I am all for defending our homeland, and doing what we must within the law to do just that. Fine; we do not need to export war.
And that enemy within starts with the Bush Administration, and a political/military industrial complex that makes war a profiteering venture. Our troops would not be in the shape they're in if we did not fabricate an excuse to go to war.
I want our troops home, where they can recover, and know that we do respect them and thank them for their thankless job.
GROW UP, AMERICA...NOW.
Okay, now that that's out of the way...Hurricane Irene...oh joy. Well, I'm a bit to the west of the danger zone in Pennsylvania, but we do have storm warnings for the area. Our eye goes to the east, as the seaboard is getting pounded by a Category 1 storm.
I think people have finally learned the lessons from Hurricane Katrina, and have got off the beaches and gone inland. Evacuation orders appear so far to have been followed; I am hopeful that the media will do a better job of handling the story.
The Weather Channel is on here at WITF, as I handle KYW Sports in Philly. That city is keeping it pretty much wall to wall weather coverage, as they should. I don't have much to do, except to keep up on the one game the Phillies will play; everything's battened down out there, and NY and Philadelphia are taking prudent and I think, correct precautions.
I have a lot of friends in NYC, and they're smart enough to know what to do; all the same, I hope everyone rides out the storm okay.
TWC is as usual putting their people in danger, and sometimes I think they go too far. I also don't care much for some of their "reporters." Some do a very good job, and are actual meteorologists; others are people I consider "Book Smart and Street Stupid."
I won't mention the one who nearly got herself killed during Katrina by stepping out into the full path of the storm from cover. Her "EEEEEEEEEE..." squeal was heard 'round the world; I couldn't imagine any trained meterologist doing something that dumb, but she did.
One of my XM colleagues (I was there for much of Katrina) called her a "drama queen." They have a few...like melonhead Al Roker and some of the others.
My aim will be to provide updates through the weekend, based on where I am. As I say, I'm really on the edge of the storm, but it will be interesting to see how things progress. Right now, the sun's shining, and we have some on and off rain this morning. We'll see how it goes.
I wish everyone well, in riding this one out.