Friday, December 31, 2010

Decisions, Decisions

In his recent memoir, former president George W. Bush, offers us up an enticing and honest portrayal of his time as Commander in Chief.

Never short on gaffes, W. has been busy whistle-stopping this book to the likes of Oprah and NBC's Matt Lauer. In his interview with the latter, Bush offered a interesting tidbit to his view of the Iraq invasion. You know, that little war that has plundered the U.S. Treasury, killed thousands of American and Iraqi lives (not to mention the other nations involved in the "conflict"), derailed (at least in part) the global economy, spun Iraq into a civil war, and led to the uprising of such Jim Jonesish personalities like Cindy Sheehan (ugh!). (Okay, that last part was meant to be a joke to centralize this blog posting a bit more).

None the less, in his own words, Bush seems unwilling to admit that his decision to invade Iraq was, in fact, a mistake.(Note: Could you ever imagine being like, "So, uh, this one time (in mocking 15 year old Glee like voice), I ordered our military to attack a nation that has never attacked us without provocation, derailed their government, executed their Head of State, and lied to the American public about a WMD program that never actually existed. Oops, my bad!"

In the Lauer interview, Bush said, "I mean, apologizing would basically say the decision was a wrong decision. And I don't believe it was the wrong decision."

Okay, the guy wants to stick by his decisions. But C'MON!

The action was wrong George. However, your comment, like many of yours in the past, is just another example of your complete disconnect with the media and your reactionary, "stay-the-course" mentality that drove the car into the ditch.

Why not just admit to what we have since learned? That the invasion of Iraq was a failure. That does not mean that our troops died or have served in vain. On the contrary, they have and continue to fight valiantly. I just would have rather seen them providing this service in let's say, the Sudan, or...hmmm... buffing up the support in New Orleans during Katrina and the rebuilding effort.

No, this isn't about our troops. It's not even about the war. It's about a president that still doesn't get it. That the "cowboy" image that he fought so valiantly to protect, is indeed going to be his lasting legacy, and that's not necessarily a good thing. A man, blinded by advice he should have never taken (Rumsfeld and Cheney) and by a media that he could never master.

Wouldn't it have just been nice, if not an apology, to hear the real reason for the invasion. That it would create a cash cow. A war would stimulate contracting opportunities for corporations like Halliburton. Provide a "Democratic" stronghold in the Middle East (forget about Israel). Not to mention what many believe was the true reason, to eventually go to war with the oil-rich Iran. Wouldn't that truth have proved to be more accepting to the American public now, after billions of dollars and thousands of lives lost?

Who knows? Whatever the reasons for his "stick-by-your-guns" mentality, Bush did little to change his image in the eyes of the historians that will be writing about him, and crafting his story.

For all his decisions, one thing remains certain. You can always count on President Bush for a laugh.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Paradigm Shift

“The Captain heard it and took action, only when he realized he didn’t have any choice.”

In rereading over my injustice essay, I was quick to locate a similarity between the attitude, actions and motives I spoke of, and the work of Stephen R. Covey in his article on Co-production.

In this article, the foundation of coproduction, or the relationship between the non-market world and the market economy as it was described, is applicable not just to stewards of public policy and law, but also to the individual, cast of characters and stakeholders, hoping to create paradigm shifts on the horizon.

So, the question I posed was, “What part of this potential paradigm shift am I a part of?”

The answer, in my opinion, was that I represent the terra firma. A member of civil society, who through his own actions, and more importantly, the telling of that story, can help to produce a paradigm shift.

You could say this is just a more elaborate way of telling someone that I am creating a butterfly effect. However, paradigm shifts do not come without struggle, which eventually fall on the shoulders of individuals and the choices they make. In this case, my choice was to either continue to live a life in which I was suffering in silence or embrace the true person that I am.

Imagine if that were the case for all human beings. Imagine that by individuals embracing that they were, gay, lesbian or transgendered, but also American, and entitled to pursue happiness the same as their fellow Americans, how their message would grow only brighter to the legislators, opponents and others on such serious debates as DADT, and federal recognition of Same-Sex marriage. Wouldn’t then, and only then, change be inevitable?

In respects to being part of that terra firma, I experienced not only a personal change in belief systems and advocacy, but I realized that opponents of my constitutional, legal and personal beliefs represented something of a lighthouse as well, although there were stark differences.

Like myself, they represent the non market economy, and thus we have competing interests. These individuals are unwilling to budge based on generations of, “family” values, public policy and law, informed through, at least to some extent, prejudice. It seems then, that to me, the lighthouse that shines the brightest would inevitably create the most impact.

So, it is without a doubt, that if our goal is to indeed change the way society thinks about the ways gays and lesbians are treated by the law, then we must induce a paradigm shift amongst those boats being beckoned to the harbor, and that starts with the individual.

The individual must be willing to change their own course against injustice. Often times, just admitting that injustice, prejudice, racism or oppression is occurring towards them is the first step. From there, the message grows louder, until, hopefully, the ships approaching have no choice, but to change course.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Think of the words you use, when you speak of the cold air.
Its briskness and briefness that chills us to the bone.

Think of how it funnels past our ears, and blazes our cheeks.
Burning us and chapping our features. Reddening our lips.

And through its briefness, we never think about how that
wind started out high in the sky, over the tropics.
Warm and moist, above an opaque sea.

And churned into clouds and rains that were whipped across
farmlands, and deserts and cityscapes.

And ended up, staying, and cooling, and rushing past our faces.
So briefly, on a city street, in the darkness of winter.

And that is all we feel, the sting, and the sensation of the cold.
Without ever understanding, that there is more to its story.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Annoyances of May 4, 2009

So, I am considering staying in China. Strike that. I want to stay in China. I mean, I really want to stay here. However, I am unsure how to facilitate this.

I have fallen in love with a lot of things about this country. From its seemingly endless wonders to its open spaces. It is hard to imagine a freer experience than this.

I find myself so scared of going back to the unknown. Not knowing what is in store. Readjusting. Getting use to the system of American life.