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I may have to eat a little crow here. If you saw the Academy of Country Music Awards on Wednesday then you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you didn’t see it, then you missed the Dixie Chicks’ performance where Natalie Maines was sporting a t-shirt emblazoned with the acronym F.U.T.K. The F.U probably needs no translation. Presumably the T.K. was Toby Keith who has been seen as very pro-war with the success of his song, The Angry American. Keith himself says he is simply pro-troops. Nonetheless, he is certainly perceived as more than that by the public, and apparently by the Chicks. In fairness, Keith did previously say Maines had a big mouth and didn’t know when to keep it closed. Under the circumstances, the comment was pretty restrained, and apparently more on the mark than we were aware at the time.

I was among many who defended Maines’ earlier comments about being ashamed of Bush. Maines even said the venue for her comments was in poor taste, but stood behind the sentiment. I respected that. But I find it hard to respect her current choice of the shirt on an industry awards show. This was clearly a well planned statement, so there is no quarter to be had about a poor choice of venue. Futher, the sentiment was vulgar and an inappropriate use of her time on a show that wasn’t hers. She was a guest, but she didn’t act like one. She is free to make whatever statements she likes. I’ll never retreat from that position. But there is a significant difference between exploiting one of their own concerts or a press interview for expressing those ideas and hijacking an invited appearance where her personal opinions were clearly not expected, and probably not welcome. This was an abuse of celebrity status. Further, it showed no class whatsoever. It turned a political difference of opinion into a personal attack. Bad form.

I admit that I still like their music, but as people they have lost my respect. I only hope that Toby Keith has the class to just ignore them. They are doing more to discredit their own cause than anything he could say ever would.


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I’m increasingly concerned that my elected government believes that I am a moron. I’m not taking this personally, they think you’re dumber than a rock too, so I’m in good company and all. Still, this should be a point of concern for you. As evidence I submit the following tidbits foisted upon us by the Bush administration over the last couple of weeks:

– It is now unimportant that we find WMDs (weapons of mass destruction) in Iraq. This despite very clear claims that this was the primary motivation for the war. I’m sorry, but a spic-n’-span trailer with lab equipment on it is not a smoking gun. We did not launch a war to keep the Iraqis from using their dreaded killer trailer. Colin Powell did not stand before the U.N. and paint a picture of a country full of illegal trailers.

– Speaking of Powell, he is declaring progress on his mid-east peace road map despite claims from both the Palestinians and Israelis that they are not even close to agreement on any such plan.

– And while we’re legislating progress, Tommy Franks officially dissolved the Baath party in Iraq. I’m sure that Saddam & Family are devastated knowing that the stacks of $100 bills they are sitting on cannot be used to reassert control in the region now that the party which springboarded Saddam to power no longer exists. I’m resting easier.

– Undaunted, the establishment of a western style democracy in Iraq is still the objective. This despite claims from the apparent majority of Iraqis that anything other than an Islamic theocracy is an affront to their Muslim culture. This despite an organized effort from groups within Iran to inspire a Shiite uprising to create such a theocracy.

– Speaking of democracy, why are we so worried about letting the Iraqis vote when the people trying to set that government up are awarding no-bid contracts to their cronies (Haliburton)?

– Does anyone buy that Bush’s tailhook landing on the Abraham Lincoln was anything less than a pre-campaign publicity stunt?

– Bush’s tax cut initiative is touting “wealth effect” from reduction in dividend and capital gains taxes. This is trickle-down economics all over again. The sad part is that the Bush camp lacks the courage to confront that term because it would be political suicide.

In total, I’m not sure if I’m more frightened by the fact that the government is willing to lie so blatantly to the public they allege to serve, or by the fact that Bush’s approval rating remains high – suggesting that perhaps the government is correct in thinking we’re a bunch of morons after all.


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I’ve been gone a bit. Fortunately the world has gone on without me. In my absence, several things have happened worthy of note.

In the absence of any recent Saddam or Osama sightings many impatient Americans have mistakenly decided that vilifying the Dixie Chicks is the next best thing. After all, once the world is free from their treasonous and twangy behavior we’ll all feel better. Besides, at least we know where they’ll be – on their sold out tour. Guess we showed them. I did catch a bit of the Diane Sawyer interview. While I don’t concur with their reasons for objecting to the war (they don’t think anyone should get hurt), I do respect them for not rolling over to the pressure. They have recanted their choice of venue for their views, but are standing their ground. They are entitled to that. Now leave ’em alone.

North Korea walked out of the joint China/U.S. talks. This after some people were beginning to concede that Bush’s plan to Shock & Awe the world into submission might have some promise. At least North Korea is being straightforward though. They can be bought. I haven’t seen a price, but if you’re gonna prostitute yourself for peace, you might as well get right out there under the streetlight.

And finally, there are still no weapons of mass destruction to be found in Iraq. You gotta love it. Now the Bush administration is claiming that we need to be patient and give the military inspectors time to search. Inspections will be effective, they just need time. Deja vu all over again?