Precious Cargo

Refreshingly Bitter And Twisted Observations On Life's Passing Parade.

My Photo
Location: Valley Village, California, United States

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

John McCain Is Not a Hero and Physical Suffering Is No Entitlement to the Presidency

I'm sick and tired of hearing every discussion of John McCain prefaced by an obligatory tribute to his heroism and the suffering he endured as a prisoner of the North Vietnamese.

John McCain chose to follow his grandfather and father into the family business and become a naval aviator. He was not some reluctant draftee who throws himself on to a grenade to save his comrades. His aircraft was shot down while he was attacking North Vietnam.

He was captured by the North Vietnamese, who tortured him. He broke under torture, denouncing his country.

McCain's shootdown and suffering in captivity were the products of malign fate, not the result of a choice he made. He had no say in the matter.

He is not a hero and physical suffering is not proof of heroism nor does it entitle you to be president.

I was afflicted with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at the age of eight, and it has robbed me of a productive adult life. I had a very close friend in junior high who was imprisoned in a wheelchair because of muscular dystrophy. He caught a cold one day, was hospitalized and ended up being asphyxiated by his own phlegm.

He wasn't a hero, I'm not one and neither is McCain, and our individual suffering doesn't entitle us to anything, except, perhaps, the pity of others.

Labels: , , ,

Treadmill to Oblivion

Labels: ,

Why American's Don't Care About Iraq

Labels: ,

How to Win Friends and Influence People in Iraq: Kill Civilians, Create More Terrorists

Labels: , ,

Iraqi Army Deserts a Fight

Labels: , ,

Invasion of the PODdy Snatchers

They're here! You're next!!!!

I was going to say something about’s recent decision to require companies that print books using print-on-demand technology to use Amazon’s POD printing subsidiary Booksurge in order to retain the one-click buy button on a book’s product page, but I really couldn’t care less. I have no dog in this fight. I’ve been amused by the apocalyptic hysteria Amazon’s move has produced in the community of self-published writers.

What I find more interesting is that there are writers who harbor a fantasy that some combination of POD technology, the Espresso POD printing machine and ebooks are going to transform traditional publishing. I really don’t feel inclined to undertake a long analysis of why I think this is ignorant and laughable. I’ve commented many times about aspects of this on various literary blogs.

When writers, especially frustrated writers, talk about transforming publishing, what they’re really talking about is changing the way that manuscripts are selected for publication. Though I’ll wager that we’ll never see an Espresso book machine in every Barnes & Noble store, their ubiquity wouldn’t change the way books are published (note: published, not printed).

MP3s and the online music model for distribution is pretty mature now. It is possible for a musician or group to offer their music for sale without the agency of a record label. Still, where is the Cinderella story of a completely unknown performer or group becoming famous by placing their music online and being discovered without the benefit of a significant marketing campaign?

Labels: , , , ,

This Is Sickening!

CNN doesn't allow you to embed videos like YouTube, so I urge you to go via the link and watch this video. It shows Army Captain Jordan Veath wheedling members of what passes for the Iraqi army to engage Sadrite insurgents in urban fighting in Sadr City. When he finally seems to have persuaded the Iraqi commander to move forward, he discovers that the Iraqi soldiers are taking their lunch break!

Nic Robertson, the on-site reporter, wrote this on his blog:

I’ve watched over the past years as the Iraqi army has gone from zero to, in some cases, maybe one step from hero.

I submitted this comment:

How can you write this after having witnessed an American commander wheedling the Iraqis to fight, then they want a lunch break! I watched your story on TV and am placing a link to it on my blog. The Iraqi army displays no heroism in your video. 1,000 of them, including two Iraqi commanders, deserted the fighting in Basra.


Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]